INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers living in affordable housing for seniors say their living conditions are on the verge of elder abuse.
Imagine having no air conditioning - or heat - since April.
Cassandra Anderson's mother has been living at St. Clair Senior Living Apartments for seven years. She said it didn't take long for the maintenance issues to begin. Heating and cooling seem to be the biggest problems.
"We had to move my grandfather to hospice because it had gotten so hot in here," she said.
Now, as the temperatures are dropping, the building is still without heat and air conditioning.
"It's just not healthy for seniors to be living in an extremely hot environment or extremely cold environment," said Anderson.
Anderson said her mother is a good tenant. She told 13News she's frustrated.
"They continue to go up on her rent. She doesn't complain about it, she pays it. Yet they can't do the basic things to make sure she has heat and air conditioning," said Anderson.
It seems the tenants' complaints are going unanswered or unresolved. Attorney Carman Malone said that could be a problem.
"The landlord has to provide the necessities. Heat is a necessity. I would venture to say the tenant would have some form of action," said Malone.
Resident Paul Blade has been advocating for better conditions for neighbors and himself. He said no one deserves to live like this.
"There are a number of seniors here who are veterans, and the disrespect they are accorded..." Blade said.
Temperatures in some rooms have reached as low as 40 degrees. It's been so cold, Blade has started locking the door to the building's community room so his neighbors don't come in and get sick. Now he's trying to warn others.
"I've already called the VA and advised them, 'Don't send anyone else here,'" said Blade.
The apartments are owned by Riley Area Development. Bryan Murphy said they're still waiting on a major part to fix the HVAC system. He claims supply chain issues are the reason for the delay. They have advised tenants to buy their own space heaters in exchange for a credit.
"That's not safe," Anderson said. "Either they replace the system or the building burns down at some point because you have all these space heaters running."
She is worried about tenants who might not be able to afford a space heater.
Both Anderson and Blade said they will continue to fight for better living conditions until the issue gets resolved.
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