INDIANAPOLIS -- BHI Senior living has decided to end its contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development after 40 years, forcing around 100 low-income seniors to move out by next summer.
The residence found out in February and since then have been trying to get in contact with representatives from BHI Senior Living. On Tuesday, they showed up at the company’s headquarters.
Some of them in wheelchairs others on oxygen, they were there with housing advocates and state lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle to deliver a petition. More than a thousand people signed it, urging the company to work with residents to do everything they can to keep these seniors in their homes.
"We are not only losing a place to live we are losing our friends, our neighbors and our Crawford Manor Family,” Sharon Thomas a 10-year resident of Crawford Manor said.
The company gave these seniors until June 2024 to find a new place to live. Wait lists for section 8 housing can be anywhere from a year and a half to five years, and safety is a concern for some of these seniors.
"Even if it could happen magically tomorrow without me having to pack or pay money even if that were the case. The options of where I can go are not as good," David Willis who has lived at Crawford Manor for 6 years said.
Willis says that low-income housing like Crawford Manor is hard to come by because it’s project-based section 8. This means they don’t need a voucher to qualify, they just have prove they are low income.
He says that BHI has agreed to give them vouchers to help them find a new place to live. However, he says the company isn’t giving them to the residents they are displacing until next year, which is too short of a timeline for most section 8 housing.
Representatives from BHI did come outside and address the group of concerned citizens, but weren't very happy with their approach. The residents asked for a meeting, something the company's Vice President and General Counsel Jay Rumbach said they would be in touch about.
"We appreciate that very much we appreciate you being here and communicating this and we will take a look at it and we will respond,” Rumbach said.
We tried to do an interview with the representatives from the company while we were there, but they weren't willing to speak with us. Instead, they sent us the following statement:
“BHI takes the concerns of these residents seriously and will respond to their request for a meeting. After fulfilling our nearly 40-year agreement with HUD, the decision was made not to renew the contract and to close Crawford Manor in mid-2024. All reasonable efforts are being made to assist residents who request support throughout the transition process. We will continue to provide this assistance until Crawford Manor closes.”
The residents and concerned citizens are hoping to get a response within a week from the company about ways they plan to help these seniors find housing.