jouets dans le grenier
 l'ameublement idéologique pour l'esprit sans foyer

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As a 13-year resident of the public housing facility at 400 E Harrison St in Tampa (initially Methodist Place, and now Vista 400),

I feel that for my own well-being and the mental health & safety of others, I need to disclose recent developments regarding JMG Realty’s management of this HUD-subsidized facility.


Over the several previous years, I was given the impression that owner-appointed management was there to collect rent and provide services, and to otherwise make their presence as transparent as possible. Lately, their inability to function has put severe and perhaps life-threatening stress on the residents. Given our income level, we have tried in every way to make our lives as comfortable and normal as possible.



1. Elevators. SA 6/18/16 1200: While Elevator #2 had been down for a week, Elevator #1 was now stuck with two passengers on the 2nd floor (not the least bit unforeseeable, given its double load in traffic). Entrances to stairwells are also locked, leaving no way for stranded residents to return to their homes, or obtain sustaining medication. Seeking to get an elevator running, Fire Rescue was unable to access JMG in any form for further information. Eventually the east stairwell door was opened, and for the rest of the day elderly residents got to climb the perhaps 13 floors to their homes.


I have to wonder why it takes a full week to obtain equipment vital to an essential service. It seems to me, if you want something bad enough you can get it delivered within 24 hours from anywhere in the world. If one is willing to pay the freight. And why not?


2a. Computer Lab. Before JMG's involvement, Royal American gave us a Parentally Controlled games-laden Windows 8, a magnet for the trivial use of our principle communications resource.


Just after noon on Sunday 7/10/16, I noticed that cursors had been removed from all the machines in our lab. Next Monday morning I reported this vandalism to whoever was in the Manager's office, and she seem shocked and amazed to hear it. Needing as usual to use a system, I waited a few days for some response, and there was none. While attending a church program in Britton Plaza a week later, I chanced to purchase my own cursor at Radio Shack. Which I used to successfully access the Internet on the last machine downstairs known to be able to do it.


Sometime later, all the Windows 8 machines disappeared, to be replaced (around 8/20/16) by systems reverting to Windows 7 Professional. No passwords or Parental Controls were involved, and one could transfer data freely. I used my mouse casually and without concern, leaving the one & only system I used each day as functionally intact as when I found it. No one approached me or expressed any interest in my activities. On SA 8/27/16 the vandals revealed themselves, wherein the Computer Lab was locked down.


2b. Arts & Crafts. A small but inclusive group of Art aficionados met there almost daily. Light refreshments were often served.


2c. Exercise area. TH 8/11/16. Noticed that except for the TV on the wall & a chair in front of it, the room is unfurnished. Since then, we have a highly visible recently purchased pool table. No balls or questicks.


As of WE 8/31/16 JMG practice is to bar residents from the preceding three resources (2a, 2b, 2c) at 7 PM each weekday evening, and all day on weekends and holidays. Again, with no comment from management.


Community Room. Ordinarily a haven for our indoor Latino males, its centerpiece is a large TV. This is now, as we understand it, deliberately disconnected. Attempts to feed it signals from alternate sources were severely reprimanded.


Hate Meetings. WE 8/31/16 1900 A&C Residents Don & Frances alluded to the private meeting they (& a few unnamed others) had at v510 this morning with v400 management. Their complaints mentioned not only other things but other people. A Grateful management incidentally announced that their crafts-lab area closes at 1900 hrs, every day. And to be sure to continue to put their thoughts in writing.


Actually of course, JMG has plenty of precedent for this type of information gathering. Think Inquisition. Also, I am reminded of Gestapo tactics in occupied WWII Europe, where those friendly to it among the subdued were encouraged to report those who were not. Or prison camps, where captives were given extra rations for ratting on their jail mates. Or like parochial grammar schools, where everyone is punished if anyone fucks up.


Responding only verbally to inquiry about JMGs own strange behavior, attendees seem to have been told just a few members of their community (presumably not present) are causing problems, and need to be controlled. Among these are those folk who use their own mouse in the computer lab. Of course, by implication, when identified these might not only reprimanded but removed. The latter in the present circumstances meaning 'made homeless.' Naturally, there is no public record of these proceedings.


Toward the end of 2016, residents began to see some relaxation in resource deprivation. TVs were again operational, computer use did not require signing out a mouse, and billiard paraphernalia was available on the table (then discovering the room was too small for east-west use of the cuestickes). Access to all of these being no longer confined to weekdays, nine to five.


2017 saw terror redirected instead to specific addictions: generally to those who use tobacco and specifically to those who read books. To see how that works, we may turn to that year’s events.






Lockdowns may be normal to folk in a prison situation, but seem highly inappropriate as an apparatus for control in public housing. While inviting their confidential sources to put their charges in writing, this management is notorious for publishing nothing declaring their strange intent or apologizing for it, reserving the opportunity to tell a different story to any person who asks about it. So we see in every way, instead of encouraging community, JMG is intent on disrupting it.


Description: Description: Description: C:\Users\daurril 1T1\Documents\mons-cd\found\Daurril\Vista 400\_i\tampa_apartments.pngAs for collective face-to-face contact with them, there has been only one occasion. We were told that at noon on WE 8/17/16 (3 1/2 months after their arrival) there would be an Ice Cream Social in the community Room: "Meet & Greet the new Vista 400 Management Team," "We have invited Tampa Police Officers to join us ..." Now as there are nominally 200 residents at Vista, all such engagements by previous management were done in two sittings - half the building at a time, divided as to upper and lower floors. Added to the improbability of this meeting's serious intent, only one elevator was available to transport all these people to and from the big meeting. I wasn't there.


I believe that evaluation of their performance is my decision, not theirs. If I am correct, then there is no place here for what is curiously called a “Community Manager” with the peculiar mindset of Candice Burns. In offering my analysis of our computer situation, I rely on my 50 years of occasional experience in the computer industry. Starting with my first programming assignments for money, as a member of EDP staff at the University of Chicago in 1966, continuing as System & Programming Manager at Loyola in 1968, as a Systems Engineer with San Antonio's Datapoint in 1976, and as an SPA with the Los Angeles Community College District in the early '80's. I have recently (2009-2013) refreshed that experience with coursework at HCC.




Resident Rights & Responsibilities


Page/Form 119: Additional Assistance. If you need help or more information, you may contact: HUD's Office of Inspector General Hot Line at 1-800-347-3735 to report fraud, waste, or mismanagement. We also have add /local/index.cfm to access our local HUD Field Office. Of course, having filed one before, I know how that works. Management will be invited to respond to a HUD representative privately. HUD will find their vindicating response, which I will not be allowed to see or challenge, perfectly acceptable. Residents are also considering a class-action solution via Bay Area Legal Services. JMG Realty inc may be found locally in the Cypress Point Office Park, 10014 W DMH #222, Tampa FL 33618.



Last update on 19-April-2017 at 11:3 PM.

Previous update on 9-September-2016 at 8:59 PM.