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Hogsett threatens lawsuit against owners of troubled Lakeside Pointe at Nora apartments

Lakeside Pointe at Nora.PNG
Posted at 10:29 AM, Jan 25, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has threatened to file a lawsuit against the owners of a troubled north-side apartment complex where tenants have reported “a parade of horror stories.”

In a press conference held Tuesday morning, Hogsett said the city and Marion County Public Health Department will file suit under the Indiana Nuisance Law against the owners of the Lakeside Pointe at Nora apartments on Jan. 31 if they “do not make real progress toward fixing health and safety violations.”

Property records list the apartment complex’s owners as New Jersey-based Farh-Fox Lake Affordable Housing Inc. The complex is located near East 91st Street and North College Avenue.

“There must be real consequences for charging Indianapolis residents to live in unacceptable and uninhabitable conditions,” Hogsett said. “That should not be the way of life in any city, but especially not in our city.”

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Hogsett said the city has received reports in recent years of collapsing ceilings, families going weeks without utilities, maintenance requests going completely unanswered and health issues caused by “unacceptable living conditions.”

There have been multiple fires at Lakeside Pointe at Nora in the past year.

On June 12, 2021, a fire destroyed the apartment clubhouse, which eventually collapsed. About 25-30 residents were displaced on Nov. 20, 2021, following a fire that blazed through an apartment building on the north side of the complex.

Eight more people were without a place to live on Dec. 1, 2021, after a fire started in a unit that investigators determined resulted from a cooking accident.

“Repeated (Indianapolis Fire Department) visits to Lakeside Pointe are costly to all of us, Hogsett said. “A family’s lost wages due to housing disruption. That too is costly to all of us. So our message as a community is this property owners are obligated to do more than cash rent checks. At the very least, the properties they own and maintain must be habitable.”

Lakeside Point at Nora fire
A fire burns at the clubhouse at the Lakeside Pointe at Nora apartments on Saturday, June 12, 2021.

WRTV has also covered concerns from residents about mold, broken windows, water damage and other problems in recent years.

Multiple residents explained in interviews how they went more than a week without hot water, had broken pipes or experienced sewage leaks. Others said language barriers prevented some residents from being able to speak up about their experiences.

Speakers on Tuesday described the situations residents from other countries face at Lakeside Pointe at Nora.

“I've personally walked into the homes of many of these families who have come seeking refuge from war-torn countries, such as Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Claire Holba, executive director of Patchwork Indy, said. “What I have witnessed is anything but a safe and a dignified place to live.”

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed suit against the owners of Lakeside Pointe at Nora in July 2021.

Paul Babcock, CEO of the Health and Hospital Corporation, said the housing division found more than 600 violations at Lakeside Pointe at Nora in 2019, and some may be unresolved today.

“Residents understandably ask, 'How on earth can this go on here in Indianapolis?’” Hogsett said.

Watch Tuesday’s news conference below:

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