INDIANAPOLIS — Families receiving rent assistance in Indianapolis could face eviction for the actions of people living in their apartments who are not on the lease.
WRTV Investigations learned that two men, one who died and another was wounded in the shooting at Beechwood Gardens Apartments on Monday in the 2900 block of Priscilla Avenue, were not on the lease connected to their address. Both men are reportedly from the Chicago area.
The Indianapolis Housing Agency will now enforce a rule it has ignored for years that mandates lease holders cannot have people not on the lease living in their apartments.
IHA Director John E. Hall said the head of household is always responsible for their guests. He added that it is a violation of rental assistance if a guest or household member is threatening public safety.
"So that can be subject to an emergency eviction through the courts after we terminate rental assistance," Hall said.
Hall said tenants have due process and they will receive a letter calling for a hearing so they can explain their situation. The most serious outcome is the loss of rent assistance and eventual eviction.
"I'm looking at what I have in my toolkit to make our properties safer," Hall said. "Our residents deserve to live in a peaceful, harmonious environment, and what we are seeing at our properties and throughout Marion County as a whole, but in particular our properties, is that a lot of the crime that's happening is emanating from unauthorized residents."
Hall said IHA will also spend $100,000 to pay off-duty police officers to work at Beechwood Gardens, The Martindale and Twin Hills through Labor Day.
"I want to ensure that our residents feel safe in their living environment," Hall said. "That is paramount for me, but also as the owner landlord, I want to ensure that we are enforcing our lease agreements, our house rules and the federal program rules."
IHA will also replace 14 existing surveillance cameras at Blackburn Terrace at a cost of $127,000.