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City leaders meet with residents of JPC Housing facing utility shut-off

Utility shutoff.PNG
Posted at 10:36 PM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 16:24:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Some stability could be on the way for thousands of residents of four Indianapolis apartment complexes.

For months, residents of four apartment complexes have been told their water may be shut off by the end of September, as the owners of their complexes did not pay utility bills to Citizens Energy.

According to Citizens Energy Group, the managing company owes the utility company nearly $2 million in unpaid bills — even though residents pay for utilities as part of their rent.

"Unfortunately, for this particular property owner, this is not the first time we've gone around and around with them," Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Jeff Bennett said.

This isn't the first time residents faced water shut off.

Earlier this year, the city paid $850,000 to restore services for residents at two complexes, Capitol Place and Berkley Commons.

Earlier this month, Bennett sat down with WRTV. He told us that's not an option this time.

"The bill is just too high," said Bennett.

Bennett explained in past instances, including one on the northside of Indianapolis called Lakeside Pointe, interactions with JPC Affordable Housing had turned out positive.

"In that instance, it took time," Bennett said. "That is something we do not have in this case."

Residents are terrified that they are going to be forced out of their homes.

Dozens voiced those concerns during a Town Hall Wednesday night.

Bennett told residents there are agreements in the works to avert the shut-off and keep them in their homes.

This includes a possible sale of the properties.

Citizens Energy says it's still working on reaching an agreement with the owners.

WRTV traveled to Ohio to track down alleged directors of JPC Affordable Housing.

The man listed as treasurer, director and board member told us he didn't know where the money was going and that he was saddened for the residents. He also claimed he resigned from the board in 2018.

READ MORE | 'We're saddened this ever happened': WRTV Investigates asks apartment management group why bills are unpaid

The Attorney General's Office tells WRTV it will step in if the utility company shuts off the water.

This is a developing story.