INDIANAPOLIS — Legislators want the state to take action against the owners of a north side apartment complex, following notice that they owe a more than $1 million utility bill.
Residents at Lakeside Pointe at Nora woke up Monday morning to a notice from the health department on their doors, warning them that “Citizens Energy Group may be shutting off water service to your complex.”
A department spokesperson later confirmed to FOX59 that the notice was “premature” due to ongoing negotiations between complex managers and Citizens. In a statement, a Citizens’ spokesperson said that the company did inform the complex about a possible shut off on August 2 due to non-payment, but that it was working on a payment arrangement.
The notice was the latest in a long list of issues at the complex, which FOX59 began investigating in 2019. Recent fires left residents on edge, including one resident who asked that their identity be hidden.
“My first question was where did all our money go?” the resident said about the notice. “Everybody was mad, upset, there was people up there almost crying.”
The resident provided FOX59 with a copy of their lease, which states that water and sewer fees are the responsibility of management.
Claire Holba, Executive Director of Patchwork Indy, has long advocated for change at the complex that does not force residents out of their homes.
“We do not want to see the property just condemned,” Holba said. “We believe that there is a way that residents can stay here, but that’s going to require action from the city and from the state.”
State Senator Fady Qaddoura and State Representative Carey Hamilton sent a letter this week to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, requesting that it file for injunctive relief to put the complex into receivership, in order to secure a new owner to clean up the property.
“Either they’re going to move forward with a serious commitment to change the living conditions and improve them or, if they can’t fulfill their legal obligations under the law, then the only other solution is to transfer ownership to someone else who is more responsible who deeply cares about our citizens,” Qaddoura said.
“It’s a whole different atmosphere than it was like two days ago. Just from that note … everybody is stressed out, it’s just stressful,” the resident said.
Management for the complex sent FOX59 this statement Tuesday:
“Our company has been in contact with Citizens Energy group and we have come to a settlement through negotiations so water will not be disconnected on our properties.”Meagan Scott, Regional Manager, ALoft Management
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office sent the following statement:
“Attorneys for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General have been working with all responsible parties on this complex case to get it resolved as quickly as possible. We have negotiated a delay in potential shutoff of utility services in order for legal actions currently in process to be completed. Once these processes are through we hope to have ownership controls in place that will provide for the proper care and upkeep of the structures that will best serve the residents of the community.”Office of the Indiana Attorney General