INDIANAPOLIS — Residents of two Indianapolis apartment complexes tied to the same landlord were hoping their water wouldn’t be turned off Thursday due to utility companies not paying utility bills.
Last Thursday, residents of the Berkley Commons apartments, located at 8201 Madison Avenue, and the Capital Place apartments, located at 4100 Centennial Court, received a notice from Citizens Energy Groups stating that their water and wastewater services were to be disconnected on Feb. 17 unless their landlord took action to pay an overdue utility bill. Capital Place Apartment residents were also told their gas service was to be disconnected the same day.
“I was angry because I have a little boy and we pay for gas and water for the apartment every month,” said Brenda Jones, a resident of Capital Place.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there appeared to be progress in keeping utilities on. Citizens Energy officials said a management company for the two properties contacted the utility around 3:30 p.m. to make a payment and arrange to avoid a shutdown on Thursday. Discussions on this subject were underway late Wednesday afternoon.
While the two resorts have different management companies listed in county property registries, FOX59 has learned that they are tied to the same nonprofit that also owns the struggling Lakeside Pointe apartments in Nora, which are being sold.
Various tax, court and real estate records show that the New Jersey-based nonprofit JPC Affordable Housing Foundation owns all three complexes, in addition to several others in the area. Indianapolis city officials believe that the JPC Affordable Housing Foundation actually owns as many as eight apartment communities in the city and operates them through several subsidiaries with different names. City officials also believe the organization has similar operations in other cities across the country.
Oron Zarum is listed as President of the JPC Affordable Housing Foundation on 2019 tax returns. Attempts to reach the JPC Affordable Housing Foundation went unanswered and messages left were not returned.
“This is a negligent out-of-state business owner who is clearly abusing the Hoosiers in Indiana,” Indiana State Sen. Fady Qaddoura said. “Their neglect is impacting the families living in these apartment complexes.”
Qaddoura, a Democrat representing northern Indianapolis and parts of Hamilton County, is currently working on legislation to give state and local authorities more power when trying to take action against troubled property owners.
“To specifically address negligent out-of-state business owners who essentially operate Hoosiers in our state,” he said.
In a case like this, when it comes to a nonprofit group that oversees affordable housing from another state, Qaddoura said there needs to be more clarity on who has jurisdiction to bring an action. lawsuit.
“Filing as a non-profit organization and operating Hoosiers impacts our tax system and our cities as they are eligible for property tax exemptions,” Qaddoura said.
“Can you imagine that our own children who attend our school system will be denied the basic human right to have accessible water,” he continued. “I mean, it’s crazy.”
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