INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A woman and her family on the west side of Indianapolis say they’ve been living for two months with no heat in their three-bedroom apartment.
The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, called CBS4 for help after repeated attempts to get her heat fixed in the Addison Creek Apartments off of Rockville Road.
“I pay them $959 a month,” she said. “And I pay my utilities in full, so there’s no reason I should have to live like this. None at all.”
Problems in the apartment started in November when the woman says she noticed cool air coming from the vents throughout the apartment. Since then, ice has built up on the inside of her windows as she and her family have struggled to stay warm with a single space heater.
“It’s all of us is in the same room, and we stay warm from body heat and a space heater,” she said.
The woman, who lives with her brother and her three children, ages 12, 8 and 2, have spent the last couple months using sheets and blankets to trap air on the upper floor of the apartment. They’re spending most of their time upstairs, where it’s warmer.
“They don’t even get to have fun or nothing, like run around and play in the house,” she said. “They can’t do them things because it’s so cold.”
Making matters worse, the woman says her 2-year-old child has Down Syndrome and relies on a feeding tube. The cold temperatures are forcing the young child to stay with the woman’s sister, who lives nearby.
The woman says she submitted a work order to her property management office on Nov. 17. But nobody has come out to inspect the HVAC system or fix the problem for two months.
“I have called them. They stopped answering my calls at the office,” she said. “They don’t pick up when they see my number.”
CBS4 visited the leasing office at the Addison Creek Apartments and spoke with managers with T.E.H. Realty. Managers in the office say T.E.H. Realty took over management of the property from Millhouse Management on Dec. 9, and they received spotty work order and financial records. Managers in the office acted unaware of the woman’s heat problem.
“A lot of problems or issues are if they put the work order in November and never came back and told us,” said T.E.H. Realty manager Debra Peoples. “Once they call, we’ve been taking care of them the same day.”
But the Marion County Health Department confirms they were called out to the woman’s apartment on Jan. 2, which was after the change in management. Health Department officials said the conditions in the apartment were found to be not in compliance with housing code. Health Department inspectors came back to the apartment the next day, Jan. 3, and the problem still wasn’t fixed. A Health Department spokesperson says the matter was given to Marion County Environmental Court and a hearing has been set for Jan. 30.
However, within 30 minutes of CBS4 visiting the Addison Creek Apartments leasing office, a maintenance worker arrived at the woman’s apartment to begin working on the heating problem. The maintenance worker said repairs may require a contractor to tear out portions of the apartment ceiling and check the duct work.
It’s not clear how long those repairs could take, but the woman says she’s grateful for the help in finally getting the ball rolling.