Residents go up to 9 months without repairs at west side apartment complex

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Health department records show repeated problems at a west side apartment complex, where residents say they have gone as many as nine months waiting on repairs in their units.

Heather Fields first contacted FOX59 about issues at Addison Creek Apartments last summer. Since then, she has continued to have problems in her apartment, where the Marion County Health Department has issued more than one repair order, including an emergency repair for broken air conditioning.

"This is our second molding dishwasher," Fields said as she showed a FOX59 crew around her unit.

During the visit, in July, Fields and her family had gone five days without working air conditioning. Since then, she said that she received a window unit but repairs had not been made to the HVAC system.

"My kids had to go to their grandparents for the night. The next morning it was still hot, it was humid," Fields said.

Another resident, Alvenia Smith, has been fighting her own battle with the complex. Smith moved to Indianapolis from northwest Indiana last fall and said her original unit was not completed upon her arrival, so she lived in a model and was then moved into a different unit.

"They’re not doing what they’re supposed to do," Smith said.

Smith showed FOX59 her kitchen, where the dishwasher was removed due to mold and maintenance staff nailed a board over the hole. Smith wrote on her move-in checklist last November that there were cockroaches in her unit and "new carpet needed badly," among other issues.

Nine months later, the carpet in Smith's apartment still has not been replaced, despite health department orders. The health department filed a court case in July. In early August, managers sent Smith a letter that said, "After careful review of the necessary repairs in your apartment home it was determined that we cannot complete the work required in your apartment while it is occupied due to the extent of the repairs. At this time, we will have to request that you move out of your apartment... We do not have an apartment that we can offer a transfer option at this time."

Smith said she was unsure what she would do, since she is on a fixed income and she's been asked to move out a month before her lease is up.

"Out of all these apartments that’s empty you can’t fix none of them?" Smith said.

FOX59 requested two years' worth of data from the Marion County Health Department. Since August of 2017, health inspectors have opened 200 cases for violations at Addison Creek. 91 of those cases were sent to court after repairs were not made. Inspectors cited Smith's apartment for problems at least a year before she moved in.

According to records, T.E.H. Realty owns the apartment complex. Three phone numbers for the on-site office have been disconnected, including one listed on Smith's letter on August 12. FOX59 visited the office in person and managers gave us a number for corporate office, but voicemails left at the phone number were not returned.

Several court hearings are scheduled in various health department cases over the next month, the first being Tuesday, September 3.

Fields and Smith said they both hoped that someone would step up and make changes at the complex.

"No change is going to happen unless somebody speaks out," Fields said.

"Truthfully, somebody with some money needs to buy it and do the right thing with it. That’s what I feel should be done," Smith said.

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