The Nora community has been concerned about the Lakeside Pointe apartment for many years. Residents have complained of mold, mildew, insect and rodent infestations, lack of hot water, and other deplorable conditions. Management has also been problematic, as when residents decide to leave they don’t receive their deposits back, etc.
A former manager brought their experiences to Graham Hunter of WRTZ 6, and I am grateful to him for picking up this story. Ruth Hayes has been a longtime critic of these landlords. Learning that the landlords actually have non-profit status and are exempt from paying property taxes makes the situation that much more unacceptable. I alerted the Marion County Health Department immediately, and they agreed to elevate the situation and treat it with urgency. This week, they performed a sweep of the entire property and all 500 units. I will send updates from that investigation when I get them. Below, I have included the response I received prior to the sweep. We will keep putting pressure on them to follow through. We are also exploring ways to get the landlords tax-exempt status revoked.
All of our neighbors deserve humane, healthy living conditions for their rent payments. This is inexcusable.
Good afternoon, Councilor Fanning,
I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to give you a brief update on where we stand with Lakeside Pointe at Nora. We have 15 Occupied Housing Orders already pending in court. Some of them are for common area and exterior violations for an entire building(s) while other cases are specific to individual units. 12 of these cases are in court on 06/04/2019, 1 on 05/28/2019, 1 on 05/21/2019, and another on 05/14/2019. We also have 7 more Occupied Housing Orders, not yet filed for court, which all have recheck dates coming up in May. Cases with no progress are quickly filed for court. We also have a pending Trash Order for the entire parcel, which is due on court on 05/28/2019.
One of the major issues that we are dealing with is inadequate hot water in 4 entire buildings. This specific issue has been resolved (for now) in 3 of the buildings, but one remains without adequate hot water as of the last court hearing which was this week. The repairs are more complicated than just replacing or fixing a water heater. The real issue is with lack of water pressure due to leaking pipes. Because of the age of the pipes and plumbing in this complex, when they fix one leak, the pressure is redistributed and causes a new leak in another location. The leaks in turn cause such low water pressure that by the time the hot water makes it to the unit, it’s a slow trickle or barely lukewarm. This is not an excuse, just an explanation. We have maintained our stance in court that this is an urgent issue, and we Do NOT want leniency due to the number of residents that are affected. The judge ordered a $200/day fine to commence today until adequate hot water with adequate pressure has been restored to the building in question. The next court date has been set for the 3rd week of May. The property manager knows to contact us as soon as possible once the repairs have been made. Once the repairs are verified, we can report our findings to the judge, whom would then have the discretion to stop the daily fine.
Due to the increasing number of issues, we are planning a “sweep” of the complex tentatively for the first week of June. We are working on the details now. During a sweep, we attempt to inspect each and every unit in addition to the common areas and exteriors. There are approximately 500 units, so this will involve nearly if not all of our inspection staff. I would be more than happy to share additional details regarding our pending cases referenced above if that information would be useful to you or your constituents. We will be sure to update you with the results of the sweep, but please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime.
Julianna Gonyou, Administrator
Housing and Neighborhood Health
Marion County Public Health Department