Woodland Park tenants still concerned over property’s unresolved payments with CenterPoint Energy

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 2:27 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Woodland Park Apartments residents are still concerned over the apartments’ unresolved payments with CenterPoint Energy.

The property manager, Samira Gallais, says she blames the overdue bill on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gallais says with less income during the height of the pandemic, Woodland Park wasn’t able to pay as much on their CenterPoint Energy account, and she says the cost of utilities went up.

The property manager wouldn’t give an estimate on how much they owe CenterPoint, but she did say they’ve been paying $10,000 of backpay a month for the last eight to nine months.

“We are giving them $10,000 on the back balance every month plus our current bill. That’s something they forgot to say,” Gallias said.

CenterPoint has given Woodland Park until August 26 to pay their outstanding balance, but the property manager says it’ll be paid before then.

“We never tried to hide on not paying our bills, we’ve just been behind due to COVID. Again, we had less income so we still have the bills that are running to be paid. So as I say last week, we are going to pay for everything. Everything is going to be paid by the 5th of August,” Gallais said.

After speaking with CenterPoint Energy officials on Monday, they wanted to clarify that they weren’t saying the property wasn’t paying anything but rather not paying current charges.

Last week, Evansville City Council member Alex Burton gave a survey to tenants, basically asking what their needs were.

Monday, Burton says so far, they’ve received more than 75 surveys back, which he says is the majority of existing tenants.

And last week, Evansville Housing Authority said residents will be allowed to break their leases immediately without losing their voucher assistance, but on Monday, officials say they’ll have a good idea of how many tenants are taking advantage of that by mid-week.

Last week, it was also reported that Evansville Council Member Alex Burton told 14 News that the property was evicting tenants.

14 News is told by the property manager today that it was a separate issue of those tenants not paying their rent, something she says happens every month.

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