About the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana
The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is a private, non-profit fair housing organization incorporated in August 2011.
History: The FHCCI was established through a U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development grant awarded to the National Fair Housing Alliance to establish a fair housing agency in central Indiana. Following its founding, staff were recruited and hired and the FHCCI went to full staff in January 2012. The FHCCI received its IRS non-profit status in January 2012.
Mission: The mission of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is to ensure equal housing opportunities by eliminating housing discrimination through advocacy, enforcement, education and outreach.
Vision: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) recognizes the importance of “home” and envisions a country free of housing discrimination where every individual, group and community enjoys equal housing opportunity and access in a bias-free and open housing market. We envision a country where integrated neighborhoods are the norm, and private and public sectors guarantee civil rights in an open and barrier-free community committed to healing the history of discrimination in America.
Awards: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana has been honored with the following awards:
- Central Indiana Realtist Association Best of the Best Award (2015)
- Indiana Consortium of State and Local Human Rights Agencies President’s Award of Excellence (2017)
- Muslim Alliance of Indiana Honorable Judge David Shaheed Access to Justice Award (2017)
Programs: The FHCCI offers four main programs to fight housing discrimination and promote equal housing opportunity.
- Advocacy: Works to assist persons who feel they may be victims of housing discrimination, in an advocacy basis, in understanding their rights and options under fair housing laws. We also conduct fair housing investigations, both client-based and systemic, to determine if unlawful discrimination may be occurring. We file enforcement actions as necessary to address uncovered housing discrimination.
- Education: Provides education programs and activities to increase fair housing knowledge. We conduct trainings and conferences, distribute publications, support community events, issue e-newsletters, provide social media alerts and a website, release reports, and other activities to advance knowledge about fair housing laws. We work with consumers, the housing industry, and state and local policy makers to advance fair housing.
- Inclusive Communities: Offers programs to assist persons, neighborhoods, and communities who have been impacted by unlawful discrimination, disinvestment, or unequal housing opportunity. We also participate in community events and support other organizations through volunteer participation by staff and board members.
- Public Policy: Works to increase the awareness of policy-makers and regulators about the issues associated with fair housing. We work with local, state and federal legislators to ensure strong fair housing laws and policies. We also collaborate with fellow organizations to strengthen fair housing laws. Funding restrictions impact significantly the ability of the FHCCI to be involved on issues of public policy.
Fair Housing Laws
Housing discrimination in the sale, financing or rental of housing and/or housing related services is unlawful if based upon:
- Race (any race)
- Color (any color)
- National Origin (any nationality)
- Gender (sex – includes gender identity)
- Familial Status (presence of children under 18 in the family or women who are pregnant or adults attempting to secure custody of children)
- Disability (handicap)
- Ancestry (Indiana state law only)
- Age, Sexual Orientation, Military Service Veteran Status (Indianapolis/Marion County ordinance only)
What are the possible signs?
- Charging additional rent or deposits because someone needs an animal to assist them with their disability.
- Advertisements, signs or flyers which state “no children,” “no minorities,” or “Hispanics Need Not Apply.”
- Limiting the number of children in a complex or confining them to a specific location or floor.
- Being propositioned for sex in exchange for rent or deposits and/or inappropriate comments.
- Requiring Muslims to pay for criminal background checks but not requiring of other religions, races or nationalities.
- Refusing to rent to a person using a wheelchair for fear a unit might be damaged.
- Steering minority homeowners to sections of the city where other minorities live or telling white home seekers to stay out of some areas.
- Tenancy rules are enforced for some residents but not others.
- Lack of accessibility in a newly constructed multi-family building.