ANDERSON — Eleven units at Bingham Square Apartments are in such bad shape that the Anderson Housing Authority has deemed all in need of emergency repairs. Those repairs must be completed within 24 hours of complex owner Property Resource Management getting a copy of AHA’s recent inspection.

A copy of the emergency repairs was sent Wednesday in an email to Property Resource Management and Anderson city officials; the owner also will receive mailed copies.

Ten other units also occupied by AHA clients failed inspection, too, Executive Director Kim Townsend said during a Wednesday meeting of Anderson Housing Inc., AHA’s nonprofit arm. Those apartments require nonemergency repairs, which must be made within 30 days. She told Anderson Housing that based on the owner’s past performance, the emergency repair deadline will not be met.

If that happens, AHA will withhold rent. “The contracts will be terminated, and the tenants will be forced to move out,” Townsend said. “What are we going to do with 21 families?”

Townsend explained rents were made for the month on Oct. 1, and any reduced payments to the property owner would start Nov. 1.

She said tenants in the apartments that need emergency repairs may move out immediately if new housing is located. The clients in the apartments that need repairs made in 30 days will remain at Bingham Square Apartments until a determination is made if the necessary work was completed.

The agency is concerned that it will have to relocate all of its clients within 30 days if all repairs aren’t made.

Townsend said all the available properties owned or contracted with through AHA are full, and there is a waiting list.

“This is a bad situation,” she said. “We may have to start moving clients out by Thursday.”

AHA initiated the special inspection of all 21 units occupied by families renting through the federally funded Section 8 housing voucher program. It was done the first week of October.

Emergency repairs required include:

  • Smoke detectors that are missing or not working
  • Heating and air conditioning units not working properly
  • Water leaks
  • Infestation of mice

Townsend said Property Management Resources completed all exterior work on the apartment buildings.

“The interior work has not been completed.”

Recently Bingham Square Apartments management notified residents that they have to have the utilities transferred into their names by Nov. 1. “We’ve approached United Way about helping with utility bills,” Townsend said. “Funds are needed for prior past due bills and deposits.”

She said some funding to assist clients with utilities could be sought from AHI.

A meeting with the 21 AHA clients is scheduled for Monday to discuss housing options if the repairs are not completed. It will be closed to the public.

The Anderson Redevelopment Commission has voted to obtain an independent inspection of the troubled apartment complex.

The Redevelopment Commission voted Monday to hire Loveless Inspections to inspect all 129 apartments and the exterior of the buildings.

ARC will pay Loveless $40 to inspect each apartment and $400 for the exterior. That inspection is expected to be completed within two weeks.

“We’re trying to determine what work has been done and what has to be done,” said Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department. “We can then put a plan in place.”

Last year the Anderson City Council approved a $935,000 bond to complete renovation of the former Courtyard Apartments, 2725 W. 16th St.

The funds came from revenues generated by the city’s tax increment financing district.

The city is not obligated to repay the bond issue, which is being funded by the increased assessed valuation of the apartment complext.

Property Resources paid $2.3 million for the property and estimated the rehabilitation work would cost $1.8 million.

There was a deadline of June 1 to complete the renovation work, but because of the pandemic and the shortage of building materials, the work could not be completed, according to the owners.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

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Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.