McKinlay calls for audit of housing authority

BELLE GLADE — Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay won support from local legislators at the recent delegation hearing for an audit of the Belle Glade Housing Authority.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Courtesy of TheRealDeal
Yamal Yidios has sold the Grand Lake Apartments to a limited-liability corporation.

She informed constituents Thursday via social media that she had formally requested the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation to request a Joint Legislative Audit Committee examination of the local authority.

The delegation unanimously supported her proposal, and Commissioner McKinlay publicly thanked State Sens. Lori Berman and Gayle Harrell for making the motion to support.

Also recently, Ms. McKinlay passed along a report of an update on the Grand Lakes apartment complex in Belle Glade. “We are hopeful the new owner will redevelop the complex into a healthy, safe residential community. I look forward to helping make that happen,” she said.

“Glades housing continues to be my priority. All families in Palm Beach County deserve landlords that maintain properties so children can be raised in a healthy home and our seniors can retire in a place not infested with rodents and mold.”

According to a Sept. 25 article by Keith Larsen in TheRealDeal magazine based in Miami, a company based there, Ytech, sold the complex for $7.4 million to Palm Glade LLC. That corporation is managed by Irvin Pena of Southwest Ranches, records show.

The 384-unit complex on 32 acres was closed last year after the previous owner claimed its insurance company did not pay for repairs after Hurricane Irma, according to reporting in the Palm Beach Post.

However, the newspaper reported that there had been citations by the county fire marshal and health department as early as 2015. Belle Glade’s city manager wrote to Yamal Yidios, Ytech CEO, in August 2015 saying tenants would have to vacate the complex for their own safety. He sold the property at a $200,000 loss to Palm Glade.

Palm Beach County’s Housing Authority lost more than $1 million in taxpayers’ money on a failed reconstruction project in 2012, the Post reported.

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