Motel on Indy’s south side given emergency notice to vacate

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Marion County Health Department has filed an emergency order for residents to vacate the Best Inn Motel on Harding Street.

The health department says the property is unsafe and unfit to live in due to numerous violations.

On July 31, after receiving complaints, the health department performed an inspection. They deemed the building unlivable due to bad plumbing, sewage & standing water, structural damage, and a lack of air, hot water, and electricity.

Multiple residents on the property agree that the conditions are too poor to live in but say they have nowhere else to go.

“No air, there’s mold all throughout from the bottom, this whole building is molded, all up under there it’s molded,” said resident and former employee Mary Warren.

Warren says she was homeless and lived in her truck for quite some time until she found employment at The Best Inn. She says they provided her with work and a place to stay for free.

“We haven’t had hot water since April. It’s been off and on, off and on. And then about, let's just say about June-ish, we have had hot water since,” said Warren.

She says living conditions, among other things, has made living there is a “straight nuisance.”

A manager on the property did not want to speak to our crew on camera, but says she only became manager three weeks ago and “has nothing to do with it.”

Our crew continued to push for answers, but another employee shouted obscene language and asked them to leave.

“Something like this isn’t going to happen overnight,” said Marion County Health Department and Housing and Neighborhood Heath Team Leader Lara Morgan.

Morgan says this isn’t the first time they’ve received complaints, and they have no say in what happens next.

“Our order states 24 hours, however, it’s not enforceable until we go to the court hearing and have a judge actually officially give us a court order to vacate the property, and at this time, I’m waiting on the court to set that date,” said Morgan.

Warren says people pay around $200 to stay at the motel on a weekly basis. Many of them have nowhere to go and are looking for other options, including Warren. Regardless of what happens, Warren wants to see action.

“It needs to be shut down and flat-lined all together,” said Warren.

The Marion County Health Department says it will be up to a judge to determine when residents have to vacate.

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