CARMEL, Ind. — Three days before she was scheduled to move into an apartment complex in Carmel, an Indiana woman was told she makes too much money to live there.
Majorie Rhoades was caring for her cancer-stricken ex-husband when he became abusive. She left before his death and was planning to move from Anderson, Indiana, to Home Place Gardens in Carmel. The apartment complex is marketed as an affordable rental community for seniors aged 55 and older, as well as families that have survived violence.
Rhoades says she was initially told she was eligible to rent an apartment at Home Place Gardens. But three days before she was set to move, Rhoades received an unexpected call.
"You can't move here," Rhoades said she was told by the company. "You make $500 per year too much."
By that point, Rhoades had already hired movers and her current apartment had been rented out to a new tenant. She said she would give away $500 a year to be eligible to live at Home Place Gardens.
Jennifer Miller of Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development — the company also known as HAND that manages Home Place Gardens — says the situation was a “miscommunication.”
“It's something we completely regret," Miller said. "She (Rhoades) has been our first priority."
Rhoades was ultimately able to move into her new apartment. Now her story is helping others.
"We will be taking a closer look at our property management practices, our standard operating procedures, make changes where changes make sense, so we can avoid this situation in the future,” Miller said.
According to HAND, the need for affordable housing is a challenge with growing implication. The not-for-profit organization owns 129 affordable housing units in Hamilton and Boone counties; they have a waiting list of 200 families.
"A growing segment of our population we serve are families, people who are just trying to get ahead in life struggling to make ends meet, and if you can help lower some of their housing burden that helps them get ahead in life," Miller said. "It helps break the cycle of poverty."
People interested in learning more about HAND can go to www.handincorporated.org .
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