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IHA maintenance workers tackle pileup of service requests and trash

Posted at 7:57 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 19:57:13-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Major cleanup is happening at Indianapolis Housing Agency units.

With only four maintenance workers tackling service requests for 2,000 IHA units, requests have piled up, along with trash.

IHA has shared it's working hard to improve living conditions for residents despite its financial crisis.

"It's very frustrating because it's hard to let your kids play outside when there is trash and debris then you have rice and mice running around it's not safe and not healthy," Amber Phelps said.

Living at the Martindale apartments on Baltimore Avenue isn't easy for Amber Phelps.

She said getting help from Indianapolis Housing Agency maintenance workers has been a nightmare.

"They did come and pick up the trash from the dumpsters but as you can see it's piling up again this is the first time, they've been in for two months," Phelps said.

Poor conditions, debris and lack of maintenance workers have been a problem WRTV Investigates has reported for years.

"It's been an issue for the past two years, even now. I want them to do better," said Phelps.

IHA says it's trying to do better.

The agency said it's hiring entry-level unskilled workers to help with trash pileups and more.

"I don't feel it's safe and I don't feel its right because they have been given funds to help IHA residents," Phelps said.

"I don't think that's right. They need to hire skilled and permanent workers," said Eugene Riley, a resident at Barton Annex.

The agency said the workers are needed and are in the process of taking classes to become certified. They are also shadowing skilled workers.

Once they receive certification, they can become permanently hired by the new property management, Hayes Gibson that’s taking over between now and September 1 in seven locations.

Skilled maintenance workers are also on-site tackling the agency's list of service requests.

This help comes after the city stepped in paying $250,000 for the temporary workers.

While there is a lot of work left to do, Riley asks residents to be patient.

"They do the best they can. I praise them and thank them for what they are doing," Riley said.

IHA is in the process of vetting more temporary maintenance workers. They must pass background checks and complete orientation.

The agency is also entering into a separate contract for trash and dumping services to free up maintenance to do maintenance.

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