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Mother struggles to find affordable housing after apartment fire

Posted at 11:44 AM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 11:44:50-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A mother in Indianapolis who lost everything in a fire at Lakeside Pointe at Nora Apartments is still without housing.

"I'd rather be an apartment to have somewhere my kids and be safe," Christina Lopez said.

Doors and windows are boarded up at a now-abandoned unit at Lakeside Pointe at Nora apartments complex.

One single mother of four said all she wants for Christmas is a safe place to stay but finding affordable housing has been tough.

"I know several people living in hotels now, because I am or people just living with family members that just can't find housing," Lopez said. "If you don't have $1,400 or $1,500 a month for housing there is nothing available they are taken."

Lopez and her family have been displaced since smoke from a massive fire in November that destroyed nearly everything they owned.

She's living in an extended motel on the hunt for an affordable place to stay.

"Everything I've looked at isn't available until March or later," Lopez said.

WRTV talked to her on Christmas Eve. Lopez isn't able to put gifts she once had under the tree. She's thankful they're all ok and is working, but says the best gift would be finding a home.

"It's going to be sad for me, but I want them to have a Christmas and being in a hotel is just not the best for them so I'm going to let their dad have them," Lopez said.

To make matters worse, she said people have kicked in doors and windows rummaging through items that survived the fire.

"I was in shock. Someone had cut the whole door off the door frame and the neighbors across the hall as well. They stole all of my tools, my TVs, electronics, all the kid's copies of birth certificates. A lot of my items had smoke damage but they weren't wet," Lopez said.

Lopez said communication with the property has been frustrating.

This sign posted on Dec. 3 said "due to extremely short staff our leasing office is closed until further notice."

WRTV reached out to management questioning how this impacts residents.

Those questions weren't answered but we were told the decision to shut down stems from staff members receiving threats.

An updated flier says the office will open by appointment only.

"They won't answer my calls or emails. I feel like they at least owe me rent because I only stayed here ten days before the fire. I can't get them to call me back," Lopez said.

Lopez said transparency is needed.

"It's just hard. A response from the apartments would be nice," she said.

The Indiana Attorney General's Office filed suit against the property owners in July.

"Instead of appointing a receiver, the court has insisted on mediation between multiple entities," David Keltz with the AG's office said. "We will continue to represent the interests of the renters in this process and we stand ready to work with a receiver should the court change its position."

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