ZIONSVILLE — Residents at Crawford Manor Apartments were recently told they have to move out of their homes by February of next year.
Many are elderly and of a lower income. Some don’t even speak English.
“I’m afraid to say how many residents might actually kill themselves. Seriously. Because they’re stuck, they’re afraid, they don’t use computers, they’re not good even on the iPhones or androids," Deborah Harrington said.
Physically disabled and bound to a walker, Harrington and her furry companion, Lily, have called Crawford Manor home for more than five years.
“It’s a gated community. You’re safe to walk around, and you don’t have to worry about somebody knocking you down and stealing your purse," she said.
But that’s being taken away.
The owner of BHI Senior Living will not renew Crawford Manor’s 40-year-long Housing Assistance and Payment (HAP) contract, set to expire on February 1, 2024.
The 100-unit facility is a HUD section 202 property, which offers reduced rents to low-income tenants.
Harrington says she only pays 1/3 of her income, something she fears will be impossible somewhere else.
“To know that in a year, if I don’t have a place that I can move to, I’m gonna be in my car, out of here. That’s really scary," Harrington said.
Crawford Manor is also home to a large Chinese immigrant population — many of whom do not speak English.
“They don’t want to leave this place. They really like this place," Youyan Zhang said.
Zhang is the son of a Crawford Manor resident and offered to translate for some of the Mandarin-speaking neighbors.
“They are in their 80s (and) 90s, they don’t have the energy to move. They are low income people. They don’t have the money to move," Zhang said.
It’s been home to 86-year-old Zhifu Liang and his wife for two decades.
Liang says he’s applied to similar facilities, but the waitlists can take well over one to two years.
BHI cites the building’s age as another reason for closing, saying it would require substantial efforts to address issues with the structure, HVAC systems and resident safety updates.
The nonprofit tells WRTV it’s currently working to help residents relocate.
BHI says some of the ways it’s helping is by gathering information, assisting with applications to other properties as well as offering interpreting services for those who don’t speak English.