INDIANAPOLIS — Citizens Energy Group has shut off water at two Indianapolis apartment complexes over failure to pay their bills.
The complexes are Berkley Commons Apartments, 8201 Madison Ave., and the Capital Place Apartments, 4100 Continental Ct. The utility company claims both have large, past due bills.
CEG provided the following statement to 13News, which reads, in part:
"We remain in contact with Aloft Management, the company that operates the apartment complexes, in an effort to resolve the matter. We regret the inconvenience that has been caused by the lack of action by Aloft Management."
Citizens said its crews will be ready to immediately restore water service if a payment arrangement is completed with the apartment manager.
Jessica Currie lives at Berkley Commons.
"We called the office and they reassured us that it wouldn't happen. It was all taken care of. 'Don't worry about it,' is what they said," Currie said.
Residents told 13News that they pay for water in their rent.
"I feel lost. I feel betrayed. I know a lot of people in the complex will struggle, whether they have children or disabled families, I really do. It's a very sad situation," said Kim, who lives at Berkley Commons.
"Total shock. Like I pay $1,120 a month to live here. My water is included in my rent. I pay water but I don't have access to water. That doesn't make sense," said Currie. "I was actually cooking and the water started to slow down and my daughter was in the shower, so I yelled to her and she asked what happened - and no, there's nothing."
"It's not fair cause we've been paying our rent every single month," said Capital Place resident Evelyn Ademe. "What are they doing with the money? Where's the money going at and even though we pay rent late, they charge us $75 more, so what are they doing with the money? I think it's not fair."
Resident Randaysia Beel had similar concerns.
"I'm confused like everybody else is, because we're paying for that with our rent... our rent is pretty high for us to just be having stuff cut off," she said.
The Marion County Public Health Department told 13News it is monitoring the situation. It noted that the city's housing code requires a property owner to provide safe, healthy housing to tenants – including utilities.
The MCPHD said that, if water service is shut off, it will issue a 24-hour emergency order to the property owner to restore water service. If not, the MCPHD will file with the court. MCPHD said it has a social worker and resource liaison within its housing department who will work to direct resources to tenants.
The department plans to visit the complexes on Friday to meet with residents about the situation and explain how they can contact community resources for help.
13News is attempting to contact property management.
At 11:40 a.m., Citizens crews shut off water at Berkley Commons Apartments. Water at Capital Place Apartments was shutoff around 2 p.m.
How to report housing concerns
The Marion County Health Department has a housing complaint phone number and website.
MCHD says many of their investigations are driven by concerns shared from the public.
You can fill out a complaint online, or call it in at 317-221-2150.
An array of resources are available by calling or using the website.