INDIANAPOLIS — A settlement reached between the City of Indianapolis and the owners of four neglected apartment complexes requires all four properties — Berkley Commons, Capital Place, Woods at Oak Crossing and Covington Square — to be sold by the end of the year.
In order for this settlement to go into effect, a deal must also be reached with Citizens Energy Group. The settlement between the city and owners doesn’t remove the water shutoff notice that is currently active, that must happen in a separate settlement with Citizens Energy.
In July, Citizens Energy warned residents at all four of these properties that it had planned to disconnect water and gas services to the apartments due to JPC Affordable Housing and Berkley commons owing $1.8 million in utility bills.
The City of Indianapolis will drop its lawsuit if the shutoff notice is removed and all four buildings are sold by December 31.
The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County had recently filed a complaint to keep water flowing at the properties. The City of Indianapolis stepped in and took on half of the debt, totaling $850,000. Tenants had expressed frustration over being caught in the middle, with JPC Affordable Housing still collecting utility fees from residents despite not paying their ballooning bill with Citizens Energy.
As part of the settlement, JPC Affordable Housing and Berkley Commons are required to pay the City of Indianapolis $125,000 apiece. The settlement also calls for any revenue remaining at the closing of the sales to be paid to the City up to an additional $600,000 after debts, creditors and other obiligations have been paid.
Citizens Energy Group released the following statement:
Citizens Energy Group is actively negotiating, in hopes of reaching a settlement agreement, with JPC Affordable Housing regarding their more than $1.9 million of past due utility debt that has been accumulated over the past 18 months. Our goal throughout this period has been to secure an agreement with JPC that ensures continued utility service to their four apartment properties while protecting Citizens’ customer base from the full cost of JPC’s past due utility debt. Citizens recognizes the hardship utility disconnections cause and that’s why the utility is a leader in ensuring financial assistance to customers through our bill reduction programs, grants from our Warm Heart Home Foundation and flexible payment arrangements.