New calls for the city to respond to ongoing housing issues: tenants say they are living in deplorable conditions.

NOW: New calls for the city to respond to ongoing housing issues: tenants say they are living in deplorable conditions.

SOUTH BEND, Ind.----Flooding, mold, roaches, infestations, prolonged lack of hot water and heat, and other "deplorable" living conditions are realities for many tenants across South Bend.

A press conference was held on Tuesday February 21st in front of the Beacon Heights Apartments by Councilman Henry Davis Jr. He was joined by Rodney Gadson, who runs the South Bend Tenant Association, and Judy Fox, a Professor of Law at University of Notre Dame, who specializes in housing. The three called for the city's shady landlords and property managers to be held accountable for the ongoing problems in rental properties across the city. 

Fox worries landlords are not being held accountable, and there is little residents can do to reach them, when many of them do not even live in the state.  

"which means the tenants here cant do the one thing the Indiana apartment association says they can do… they cant sue the landlord.. because you cant sue somebody that doesn’t exist,." she proclaimed.

"so a small group of corporate owners has been able to block the protections of most of the tenants.. that they don’t even have any relations to in this state… that’s criminal.. that should be stopped," she added. 

Residents like Shenikqua Samuel's showed ABC57 around her Beacon Heights Apartment where she has been a tenant for 5 years. The mother of 4 told us, 

"I feel like no one should have to live like this.. especially our children".

And these are not just issues at Beacon Heights, but apartments across the city. 

They are urging to push for Senate Bill 202, which would hold landlords more accountable and protect the rights of tenants across Indiana. It is awaiting a vote that could protect the rights of tenants, but it is slow moving through the statehouse.

Gadson also urges those experiencing similar living conditions, reach out to the South Bend Tenant Association. 

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