City of Orlando could loan $700K to troubled apartment complex



The city of Orlando wants to hand out a $700,000 loan in hopes of turning around some rundown apartments.

Problems have troubled the Timber Sound apartment complex on Raleigh Street.

City leaders said they only hand out this kind of money if a community really needs help.

Ruby Pryor has lived in the Timber Sound apartments for eight years, and she says it's eight years too many.

The 70-year-old woman said she has broken appliances, mold and a hole in her floor.

The complex made news last year after two women were attacked. Police have been called to the complex 484 times this year.

A rod-iron fence along Raleigh Street is supposed to keep the residents safe, but at least five holes mar the fence.

Orlando leaders are looking to turn the place around with a $700,000 federal grant in the form of a loan to fix up 75 of the 160 units.

"Do you guys find this really works?" asked Channel 9's Tim Barber.

"Well yes, definitely, and it's very important to keep reinvesting in our neighborhoods," said Oren Henry, Orlando Housing and Community Development director.

If the owner defaults on his loan, it's unlikely the city will recover its investment.

Pryor was planning to move out, but now she may stick around to see if it works.

"I would think about it. ... I would think about it," Pryor said.

The owner is looking to repair the fence, and his long-term goal is to build a wall.

If the city decides the loan works, it will give the company more money to redo the rest of the apartments.

The city of Orlando said it has invested $2,191,000 of HUD HOME funding since October 2009 to rehabilitate 381 apartment units in five different existing affordable housing developments to help meet the need for decent housing for Orlando's citizens.