INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Public Health Department continues to pursue violations at the Lakeside Point at Nora Apartments.
Those are community resources that are being used just to make sure management provides livable conditions. But you might be surprised to learn the massive complex doesn't contribute anything in local property taxes. That's because the apartment has been given non-profit status and is considered in Indiana to be a charitable organization.
Ruth Hayes, president of Nora Northside Community Council Inc., has been trying to raise attention about the complex for years.
"No one should have to live in that squalor. No one," Hayes said. "The city needs somehow to clamp down on this not-for-profit situation and make them start paying."
The company that used to own Lakeside Pointe at Nora filed for tax exempt status claiming it was a charitable organization, and it was granted the exemption in 2007 by the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals. When the complex was sold, the new company retained that exemption.
"Anyone who has a conscience, in my opinion, should be ashamed or concerned or some kind of emotion to know what's going on there," Hayes said.
While filming off-property Thursday, a resident stopped by to tell us about his conditions and sent us photos inside his home of mold on his ceilings and walls and inside his cabinets. He moved into his apartment this week.
"When I moved in, it was infested with spiders and it was infested with roaches," he said.
We interviewed another woman Thursday who used to live there and asked to not be identified.
"The electricity wouldn't stay on," she said. "I had mold build up no my wall and inside my shower."
She provided documents from the health department verifying her claims and also showed us documents from the complex showing she didn't owe any money when she was let out of her lease by a manager who not longer works there.
"At the current moment, I'm having trouble getting my deposit," she said.
She wants her $200 deposit back. We have talked to other former residents who said they didn't get their deposits returned, either.
"I feel horrible," she said. "I'm glad I got out. I wish everyone could have got out."
We reached out to City-County Councilwoman Colleen Fanning. She represents the area the complex is in, and she said she is glad the health department has set deadlines for ongoing issues.
"I will reach out to them to make them aware," Fanning said. "I am watching the progress and that the deadline needs to stay firm."
A door has been hanging off its hinges since we first started reporting on this complex in March. Meanwhile, two residents said they asked management to mow the grass. They were told it would be two weeks. Now, it's knee-height. Several buildings have been without hot water for weeks.
The Marion County Public Health Department said the company that owns the apartment complex promised to fix the final hot water heater by Thursday. We'll follow-up to make sure that happened.
We called management again Thursday for comment on the story, and they refused to answer our questions yet again.
LAKESIDE POINT SERIES
March 22: Major health concerns at north side Indianapolis apartment complex
March 26: Residents say an apartment complex on north side of Indianapolis is unhealthy
April 1: Health Department blames owner for apartment conditions
April 18: Unhealthy conditions fester at north side apartment complex