JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4JAX I-TEAM is looking into complaints about a Jacksonville apartment complex where some residents say they’re offended by the language used in an email from their property manager.
In the message warning hundreds of residents of Lofts at Brooklyn to stop loitering in the parking lot, property manager Nicole Youngblood writes in part:
“It has been brought to our attention that there is a lot of loitering happening in the parking lot in the evenings. I want you to know that if you are aware of your guest ‘hanging out’ in our parking lot YOU, the lease holder will be in violation. This is the only warning you will receive. We are not ‘the hood’ and it will not be treated as such.”
A resident who spoke with the I-TEAM said the email was sent last Wednesday to all of the residents of the complex between Riverside and downtown. She calls the language of “we are not the hood” socially tone-deaf.
“The climate that we’re in right now, it really just kind of felt very hurtful in a way,” said the renter, who did not wish to be identified out of fear of retaliation. “What they may consider what the hood is like a bunch of people hanging out, everyone just talking or however they consider the hood, I’m not sure, but I felt like they were referring to it in a derogatory term.”
The I-TEAM went to Lofts of Brooklyn on Wednesday morning to speak with the property manager. Youngblood met the I-TEAM at the door but was unable to speak about the email.
“I can’t speak on it. I’m not an authorized spokesperson,” Youngblood said.
The I-TEAM also reached out to management and received the following response in the afternoon:
“We were made aware of the email that was sent to the residents of the Lofts at Brooklyn and are addressing the content with the property manager. We strive for all residents living at our communities to have a superior experience and recognize that how we communicate with our residents affects a large portion of their experience.”
Residents say management could have worded their loitering warning differently, leaving out the phrase “we are not the hood.”
“Oh, I definitely know who she’s referring to, and that’s definitely the African American, Black people in the community,” said the renter who spoke with the I-TEAM. “Like I said, it’s very diverse. We stay in Riverside, in the Brooklyn area, so it’s very diverse.”
The renter said, overall, she has had a positive experience living at Lofts of Brooklyn and said management has been responsive in the past.
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