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Community leader calls for regulations on short-term rentals after violent party

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Police and community advocates say parties in short-term rental properties are causing safety concerns in Indianapolis.

Jed Fuller is a pastor at Impact Old Southside who lives on the city’s south side, as well. He says his neighborhood is overrun by short-term rentals.

“Our neighbors are very concerned,” Fuller said. “They regularly bring issues with parties and take up all the parking. We personally have several Airbnbs really close to our own home, and probably just in the past two weeks we’ve had incidences of people coming and urinating in our back lot.”

Fuller is calling on the city to crack down on short-term rentals and even limit how many are allowed in Indianapolis.

“We were really pushing for there to be an inspection and regulation for this business,” Fuller said. “People are making a lot of money, so I think it’s OK to have some safeguards.”

For Fuller, this is also a safety concern. He does not want children playing outside with a constant stream of strangers in the neighborhood.

‘When it’s somebody different every weekend, you’re a little concerned about if it’s safe for your kids,” Fuller said. “We haven’t had any shootings, but I’ve personally been threatened.”

Fuller says it is difficult to build a community when many people in the neighborhood are only there for a weekend.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says even when these house parties are not ending in gun violence, other illegal activities happen.

“That has led to sometimes gun violence, underage drinking, and drug use, so that is certainly concerning for our agency,” said Officer William Young, a public information officer with IMPD.

Other community advocates are concerned with the people responsible for these parties.

“Promoters are about money. They are not concerned about the individuals, what’s gonna happen. They don’t know who’s gonna show up,” said Williams. “I personally think those people putting those promotions on should be held accountable and liable for some of the actions that are going on.”