INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis leaders announced a deal Thursday to keep the water and gas on at four apartment complexes. Also announced was that JPC Affordable Housing will be selling all its properties in Indianapolis. At the time of sale, JPC will pay Citizens Energy Group 80% of what is owed on past utilities.
Citizens had planned to disconnect water and gas services at the Berkley Commons, Woods at Oak Crossing, Covington Square and Capital Place Apartments on Sept. 30 over delinquent bills. Nearly 1,200 units and about 3,000 people would have been impacts, a Citizens spokesperson said Thursday.
Citizens said in July that JPC Affordable Housing and Berkley Commons were not paying more than $1.7 million in utility bills despite collecting rent from tenants that includes funds intended to cover utilities.
Citizens also said in July that it had worked for 18 months with the apartment complex owners to reach a repayment deal.
It was the city's $850,000 payment to Citizens Energy Group in February that kept the water on for residents.
Under the agreement announced Sept. 8, water and gas services will stay on for the residents of the four apartment complexes while a new owner is found. The new owner has to be an independent third party and can not be connected to any of the current owners. That sale must happen by the end of the year.
JPC also will not be able to add new businesses in the state for several years.
Citizens Energy Group filed a lawsuit in April 2022 in Marion County Commercial Court in an attempt to get the money owed. The lawsuit also requested the creation of a constructive trust over each of the defendants’ funds collected from tenants for water, sewer and natural gas utility services. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Citizens Energy Group claimed it was owed $1.3 million.
"I pay my water, my gas and the rent to them and my bills are not being paid? I mean, where's the money going? I mean, if you look around out here, this place is really falling apart and they're not doing anything," said Kim Wren, Capital Place Apartments tenant during an April interview with 13News.
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Two other lawsuits were also filed against the property managers back in April by the city and Indiana's attorney general.
13News learned lenders also filed for foreclosure to get new management for those apartment complexes.