May 24, 2023

Senior residents want action from group trying to evict them

Residents, community members and leaders speak out against planned eviction of senior residents. (Jill Sheridan?WFYI)

Residents, community members and leaders speak out against planned eviction of senior residents. (Jill Sheridan?WFYI)

A group of low-income senior residents are at risk of losing their Indianapolis homes. 

The Crawford Manor housing building sits in the middle of a larger, gated senior complex on the city’s northwest side. 

Earlier this year, property owner and senior living nonprofit BHI informed residents they would have to move out. 

Advocacy group Hoosier Action led residents and community supporters at a press conference this week. Stephanie Zhang’s grandmother is part of a small Chinese community at the complex, and said BHI has abandoned them.

“Their choice to not renew their contract with HUD will also permanently take away 100 units of affordable housing that our community so desperately needs,” Zhang said.

Residents delivered a petition with the names of more than 1,000 supporters to BHI headquarters this week.  They are requesting a meeting with BHI leadership, something that the group has yet to provide.

State Sen. J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) spoke in support of the seniors.

“It shouldn’t take our office intervening – they should be willing to step in and negotiate and bring them to the table and talk to them,” Ford said.

About 30 residents have already found new housing.  The current housing shortage and a loss of subsidized housing options makes the task more difficult for seniors, many of whom have disabilities and language barriers. The residents currently have over a year until the building will be torn down.

Resident Sharon Thomas says that the thought of finding a new home is distressing.

“A year sounds like a long time, but it's not a long time, and with the housing crisis we have to find a low-income house apartment to be able to pay rent,” Thomas said.

BHI representatives accepted the petition and said they will respond to the requests.

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