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Township trustee threatens apartment owner with lawsuit unless it meets conditions


The Portage Township Trustee is telling a troubled South Bend apartment complex to make changes if it doesn’t want to be sued.

Trustee Jason Critchlow Wednesday released a set of steps he wants the Cedar Glen Apartments to take so that tenants stop losing their heat and hot water. Critchlow says he’s authorized to make the demands because the trustee makes rent payments to Cedar Glen on behalf of tenants who request help.

As a condition of receiving that public money, landlords agree to make rental housing habitable, which means having heat and hot water.

Critchlow had the township’s attorney, Alex Bowman, start working on the matter about a month ago after tenants reported having no heat or hot water, problems that have occurred there before.

Critchlow says the township won’t sue Cedar Glen if it pays restitution to the affected tenants and to the township, allows tenants to form an association, and agrees, for three years, to self-report any “disruptions to habitability.” He says the Indiana attorney general has said they are the kind of steps the office would recommend to avoid legal action.

"Four months without hot water, some of them, not just this year but last year as well," Critchlow said. "The stories that we get out of here are just outrageous and I have not seen any evidence that they've tried to provide adequate compensation to them."

Critchlow said the township sent Cedar Glen its demands last week and has given it until the end of next week to reply before it files suit. The complex did not return WVPE’s request for comment.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).