Miami Hills deemed a nuisance property after 168 calls of service in 90 days
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Miami Hills apartment complex is now designated a nuisance property. This comes after, police were called out 168 times to the property in just 90 days.
Here’s how it got that distinction: When a property with 51 or more units gets 12 or more confirmed calls of service, there will be a fine of $250 per verified violation after that.
“If there were shots fired. If there were drugs being dealt out of the area. Perhaps we’re finding stolen vehicles at that property which we have done recently so those would be considered nuisance calls that would then be considered verified,” Ken Garcia, the South Bend Police Department Spokesperson, said.
Right now Miami Hills is in an “Appeals window.” This means the owners can appeal the decision for 10 days.
If Miami Hills continues to be a nuisance, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development could take away much-needed funding to the property, which obviously would cause issues for families living there.
“Not good. Not good at all,” tenant Annette Lewis said.
Some tenants living at the Miami Hills apartment complex on the city’s South side aren’t surprised the complex is now deemed a nuisance property or that the department’s “armadillo” is now positioned outside their windows.
After all, there’s been 168 calls of service in just 90 days.
“They need to stop. They just need to stop. For real. Because too many people’s getting killed,” Lewis said.
She has lived at Miami Hills for years and is happy to hear about the classification.
Now, whenever the property owners or the tenants receive a “nuisance” label after a call or a code enforcement violation, they will be fined.
“It has to be investigated by the nuisance abatement officer. He’ll determine if it is indeed a verified nuisance call. At that point they could be fined or will be fined $250,” Garcia said.
He said the fine doesn’t just apply to crimes.
“It’s not just for police. If code enforcement goes out there and they find code issues that would be considered a violation as well,” Garcia said.
Miami Hills has been in the news for code violations in the past. In fact, according to Code Enforcement, of the units investigated, 2 of them are condemned and 7 failed initial inspections or failed re-inspections.
Lewis said she’s had her fair share of problems.
"The wall started to turn black in my bathroom," she said.
She tried to contact management.
“Y’all don’t return phone calls. Then you come over and don’t nobody know nothing. When somebody complains, come out and fix it. Don’t wait until it gets worser,” she said.
When the apartment complex got around to fixing her unit, Lewis said it was half-done and her door was left wide open.
“When I come back in they still had stuff on the floor, my food and stuff was still stacked up over there in the chair and the refrigerator still sitting there,” she said.
The complex will be considered a nuisance property for a year.
Since the property is under Section 8, if it continues to be a nuisance, City Council Member Jake Teshka said the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development could take away funding in hopes that it will force the apartment complex to turn the property around. He said the owners seem unwilling to get a handle on the problem.
ABC57 tried knocking at the office and calling Miami Hills but have received no response. South Bend Police do say the owners have been very cooperative with the Police Department.