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New lawsuit against Lugar Tower cites lack of daytime security services

Leader wants improvements to Lugar Tower living conditions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new complaint has been made against the Indianapolis Housing Agency over safety concerns at Richard G. Lugar Tower apartments, a downtown high-rise.

The complaint came days after the Indianapolis Housing Agency settled a lawsuit to resolve issues with residents in the 17-story building with 250 apartments for older people and people with disabilities. It was built in 1974 and modernized in 2012.

The Rev. David Greene Sr. from Purpose of Life Ministries told I-Team 8 that people who live in Lugar Tower have been concerned about its condition for several years. “Hearing about the living conditions there is not really new. It’s been something that’s been taking place for a little while now.”

In April, several Lugar Tower residents filed a lawsuit that claimed the living conditions were bad: The front door to building was taken off a track and allowed anyone to enter the building. Apartment break-ins were increasing. A stabbing happened. Human waste was found in stairwells. Trash was piling up and not taken away. The elevators were broken.

The Housing Agency settled the lawsuit on Nov. 2 and said it would address the issues.

A few days, later someone who calls Lugar Tower home filed new complaints. The resident’s attorney issued a statement.

“Within days of the Indianapolis Housing Agency signing a settlement agreement, our client brought forward new safety concerns because the landlord withdrew daytime security services. The law and the agreement with IHA require them to provide a ‘reasonable security presence.’ Renters have the right to feel safe and protected in their own homes, so we are making sure their landlord adheres to their responsibilities.”

Jodi Velasco of Indiana Legal Services and Fran Quigley

The reverend said, “Baseline safety is extremely important because one of the unintended consequences could be we’re losing seniors, or we’re losing people with disabilities because somebody broke in the building, somebody got in the building, somebody wanted to exploit our seniors, or exploit people with disabilities.”

While getting video from outside Lugar Tower on Tuesday, I-Team 8 did not see any security.

I-Team 8 reached out to the Housing Agency about the new complaint that was filed. It did not reply by the time this story aired at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Richard G. Lugar was a U.S. senator who served Indiana from 1977 to 2013. The Republican native of Indianapolis died in April 2019 at age 87.