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State rep. skeptical of management at apartments for homeless vets

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A state representative said he’s questioning the competency of management at a housing development for homeless veterans. The air conditioning at Lincoln Apartments broke during a storm nearly two weeks ago and is still broken.

Following the storm, management at the west side complex provided fans to the veterans living there. After 24-Hour News 8 aired a story on the problems this week, employees began taking more action.

Management was installing portable air conditioning units for temporary cooling in the apartments Thursday. They also scheduled a community meeting for Thursday evening to discuss the problems. State Rep. Justin Moed said he would attend to speak with residents and management.

The apartment complex gets financial support from multiple government agencies. Moed said he filed an information request with the state to learn if management is meeting requirements for that support.

As Moed searched for answers, residents waited for a fix.

Dewayne Weatherby, a U.S. Army veteran, spent much of the last two weeks in his apartment, with two fans blasting.

“A lot of times it’s hotter in here than it is outside,” Weatherby said. “I had been thinking about staying at a motel or something.”

Around noon Thursday, he was still waiting on management to install a portable air conditioning unit in his apartment.

“The only other thing I can do is take a cold shower,” he said. “Then I’ll be good for an hour or so and it’s back to the heat again.”

Weatherby got a letter outlining management’s plan to eventually install portable units in every apartment for temporary cooling. The letter, from Building Blocks Non-Profit Housing Corporation President Dennis Quinn, said it’s unknown how long repairs might take, because the parts needed are not readily available.

“We’re pretty much at their mercy,” he said. “Just have to kind of ride it out. Ride it out or find another place to stay.”

Despite a frustrating couple of weeks, resident James Smith is standing up for management.

“They’re trying to work as diligently as they can to get this problem fixed,” Smith said.

The letter Weatherby received also said plans were in place to find air conditioned places for residents to stay while portable units were installed at Lincoln Apartments.

The storm also damaged the building’s electronic entry system. Until it’s fixed, live security is onsite from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., according to the letter.