Washington, DC – December 21, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Senator Evan Bayh and Congressman André Carson today issued the following joint statement after their meeting with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan regarding the Phoenix Apartments, a Section 8-subsidized apartment complex located in Indianapolis.
The troubled, crime-plagued Phoenix Apartments has long-been under scrutiny of local government and community leaders. The public spotlight on the Phoenix intensified in 2007 after a three-year-old girl was killed by her mother and boyfriend.
Since then, crime issues have persisted. Within the last year, more than 270 incidents at the Phoenix were reported by local police.
The meeting with Secretary Donovan was the result of a letter Senator Bayh and Congressman Carson sent on November 5 asking HUD to review the extent of crime at the Phoenix and the impact it is having on the community.
“We appreciate Secretary Donovan taking the time to meet with us on this critical issue. He’s shown tremendous leadership since taking the helm at HUD, working tirelessly to help lift up our communities and revitalize struggling neighborhoods.
“With HUD’s stepped-up focus on renewing the promise of our nation’s urban centers, we believed our community’s concerns about the Phoenix would get the attention of the Secretary. And to his tremendous credit, they did.
“We were able to share with the Secretary the history of pervasive crime at the Phoenix, and the impact it is having on continuous attempts to invest in the Meadows community and turnaround an area that has experienced decades of set-backs and economic decline.
“We also discussed that, despite years of high rates of crime, the Phoenix has passed every HUD annual review, pointing out that there appear to be few if any clear mechanisms in the current regulations that allow HUD to hold accountable owners that let crime permeate their property.
“The meeting ended with Secretary Donovan agreeing to become engaged on this issue. He said he would continue to work with us and the community leaders in Indianapolis to follow up on these concerns.
“We look forward to continuing to build this partnership with the Secretary and his team. Our goal is to finally address the deep-rooted problems at the Phoenix and help pave the way for progress and investment in the Meadows neighborhood.”