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Low-income complexes still in shambles 10 months after Michael

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Apartments in ruins; a common sight after Hurricane Michael, but 10 months later, residents are wondering when will they be cleaned up.

One of those complexes is Pinehurst Garden Apartments.

“It’s just an eye sore and I have to see it every day,” said George VanWilpe, a Lynn Haven resident.

“Everybody around here that comes by this, they say ‘what’s going on there?’ It’s kind-of like a rat-infested, terrible place.”

Pinehurst Garden is just one of many complexes still struggling to rebuild after the storm. On Wednesday, Senator Marco Rubio said the housing problem needs a solution, as it’s choking the workforce in the area.

“This issue of workforce and housing are interrelated,” he said. “If you don’t get the housing straightened out, you won’t get the workforce straightened out.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, agrees.

“We will continue to make those documents and the facts available to the federal government to understand what the true need is,” said Patronis.

Unlike Pinehurst, some other low-income complexes are under repair.

Macedonia Garden Apartments in Panama City is in the middle of recovery.
The manager told us he’s hoping to be back up and running by next spring.

No word yet on when Pinehurst will be rebuilding.

“I just wonder when it’s going to be bulldozed down,” said VanWilpe.

The owner of Pinehurst says he is waiting for the engineering analysis to be complete in order to make a decision on how to move forward.

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