August 31, 2022

Threat of utility shutoff at four Indianapolis apartment complexes looms

Threat of utility shutoff at four Indianapolis apartment complexes looms

The clock is ticking for tenants at four Indianapolis apartment buildings where landlords refuse to pay utilities.

Citzen’s Energy Group has notified tenants at the apartment complexes owned by JPC Affordable Housing that water and gas services will be turned off Sept. 30.  About 1,400 units at Berkley Commons, Covington Square, Capital Place Apartments, and Woods at Oak Crossing would be impacted.

At a town hall meeting last week residents were able to talk with city leaders and others involved in the issue. 

Pastor David Greene, who also serves as President of the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, led discussions. He said this could be an opportunity instead of a mass eviction.

“In my opinion we begin right here,” Greene said. “We need to be on some path that fixes those apartments, increases our level of affordable housing.”

The property owners have a history of negligence.  Greene said JPC is not the only bad-acting landlord in Indianapolis.

“They know and they’re exploiting the law, well then we need to fix it,” Greene said. “Whether we can do something locally, or statewide, it needs to get resolved.”

The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County has filed a complaint with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to stop the utility shut off.

In a written statement Citizens said it will work closely with agencies assisting in relocation if services are cut off. It says it is owed about $1.8 million. 
The apartments include Berkley Commons, Covington Square, Capital Place Apartments, and Woods at Oaks Crossing.

Talks continue ahead of the deadline. Last year the City paid over $800,000 to have utilities restored.

The negligent landlords were targeted by a series of lawsuits this spring in an attempt to make them settle up back payments.  Renters pay their utilities through their agreement.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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