FHCCI News and Updates
February 19, 2021 – What Indianapolis apartment, house renters need to know about Indiana landlord-tenant bill: The Indiana Apartment Association, which has given about $1 million to Indiana Republican campaigns, agreed with the added language. “We could absolutely be letting off a bomb here. We don’t know what (SEA) 148 is going to do,” said Amy Nelson, executive director of Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. Full story here.
February 18, 2021 – ‘We have a housing crisis’: Panels dissect housing in Indianapolis: Leadership Indianapolis hosted a series of virtual panels throughout February to discuss the housing situation in Indianapolis and try to find solutions. Housing can be an intimidating subject because of its complexity, but policy experts, housing professionals and organizers attempted to lift the veil for viewers over the course of three sessions, each dedicated to a different aspect of housing. Full story here.
February 17, 2021 – House overrides Gov. Holcomb’s veto of landlord-tenant bill: While much of the attention has been focused on Indianapolis, the bill will have a wider impact on the abilities of cities throughout the state to regulate landlords. “We could absolutely be letting off a bomb here,” said Amy Nelson, executive director of Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. “We don’t know what (SEA) 148 is going to do.” Full story here.
February 17, 2021 – Lawmakers Override Holcomb’s Tenant/Landlord Veto: Fair Housing of Central Indiana Executive Director Amy Nelson said it will stop requirements that landlords disclose tenant rights. “What is so wrong with tenants knowing what their rights are, to be educated about the rights that they have as a renter, what is so scary about that,” Nelson asked. Full story here.
February 17, 2021 – Indiana lawmakers override 2020 veto, block cities from regulating landlord-tenant disputes: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana opposed the veto override. “SEA 148 certainly lays out parameters. It says that localities cannot have any control or oversight over things like how a landlord sets up their lease, how much they charge on rent, deposits, what time of screening requirements there are. Those are all specifically defined. But it also has a catch-all where it says in any other aspect of the landlord-tenant relationship. So where questions have been raised is does that include things like code enforcement? Does that include things like human rights or human relations ordinances and other items such as that? We don’t know the extent that this ordinance will impact our renters. We certainly know that based upon what we’re seeing in Indianapolis, is that tenants needed more fairness.” Amy Nelson the Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana explained Wednesday. Full story here.
February 15, 2021 – Indiana General Assembly Poised to Leave Hoosier Renters Out in the Cold: This week, the Indiana General Assembly will be taking action on several housing bills impacting landlord-tenant laws. The bills overwhelmingly support landlord rights leaving Hoosier renters out in the cold. As early as today, the Indiana House may vote on an override of SEA 148, which takes all local control of the landlord-tenant relationship away from Hoosier cities. Like in previous years, the Indiana General Assembly appears only willing to pass substantial legislation if it favors the ever demanding housing industry. Read full release here.
February 9, 2021 – FHCCI Releases NEW Two-Sided Poster: The FHCCI partnered with the talented Alyse Ruriani, MAATC to create a new work of #fairhousing art to remind us all of the important work that must be done to ensure equal housing for ALL Hoosiers. Order your FREE poster now: https://lnkd.in/gQghwQ8 (While supplies last, must be to Indiana address.)
February 8, 2021 – Indiana Senate overrides veto on Indianapolis landlord-tenant bill: The Indiana Senate voted Monday to override Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a 2020 bill that would prohibit Indianapolis from regulating relationships between tenants and landlords. The bill would halt an Indianapolis initiative that has cracked down on a handful of landlords in its first year. It’s the first time since Holcomb, a Republican, took office four years ago that either chamber in the Republican-controlled legislative branch has voted to override one of his vetoes, signaling a break within the party. Only eight Republican Senators joined with all Democrats to vote against overriding Holcomb’s veto. Full story here. Related Press:
- Indiana Senate votes to override Holcomb’s veto of landlord-tenant bill
- Senate Votes to Override Veto, Block Tenant Rights Measure
- Indiana Senate overrides governor veto on landlord-tenant bill
- Senate votes to override on tenant bill
- Senators override governor’s veto to speed evictions, eliminate local rental regulations
- Senate Votes To Override Holcomb’s Veto Of Tenant-Landlord Legislation
- Senate puts local renter protections back on chopping block
- Legislature overrides Holcomb veto of housing measure
- Senate votes to overturn Holcomb’s veto of bill to block cities from regulating rental properties
- Attacks on tenants’ rights intensify in Indianapolis, activists resist
- Indiana Senate votes to override Holcomb’s veto on controversial 2020 landlord-tenant bill
- Senate overrides Gov. Holcomb’s tenant-landlord bill veto
- Residents speak out against Senate veto override on housing bill
February 5, 2021 – Indiana General Assembly Initiates Anti-Tenant Week with Series of Bad Bills: In a late Friday news dump, the Indiana General Assembly posted its Monday schedule which includes a SEA 148 veto override after earlier in the day adding HB 1541, a similar bill, to the House Judiciary schedule. Another harmful bill, SB 158, is expected to also get a hearing next week. Governor Holcomb had vetoed SEA 148 after the 2020 General Assembly stating that the bill’s language was overly broad by preempting local governments from regulating any aspect of the landlord-tenant relationship. Should SEA 148 be overridden, it would go into effect immediately, despite a health pandemic, in the cold of winter, and during an eviction housing crisis. Read the full release here.
January 26, 2021 – ‘Fairly simple bill’ provides way to reject discriminatory land title restrictive covenants: Although covenants barring people of certain races, ethnicities and religions from owning property are no longer enforceable, they are still attached to many deeds and mortgages throughout Indiana. A bill introduced in the Indiana General Assembly and passed unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee Monday would allow for a notice to be attached rejecting those covenants. Under House Bill 1314, a person who discovers a “recorded discriminatory restrictive covenant” can include a statement with the property document that the “covenant is invalid and unenforceable.” Read the full story here.
January 26, 2021 – Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies: President Biden has issued an Executive Order which noted, “The Federal Government has a critical role to play in overcoming and redressing this history of discrimination and in protecting against other forms of discrimination by applying and enforcing Federal civil rights and fair housing laws.” Read the full order here.
January 21, 2021 – Fair housing complaint against Indy woman, HOA, property manager to move forward: A federal court on Wednesday ruled a lawsuit can move forward against an Indianapolis woman, a property management company and a homeowners association. Vicki New, Kirkpatrick Management and Twin Creeks Homeowners Association have been accused of participating in a pattern and practice of “harassing, taunting, and threatening African American and Latino residents, guests, and contractors,” according to a press release from the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI). View the full story here.
January 21, 2021 – Family can pursue discrimination lawsuit against HOA: An African American family who claims to have been subjected to race-based harassment, taunts and threats from a neighbor in their Indianapolis subdivision can move forward with their lawsuit after a federal judge denied the homeowners association’s request to toss the case. Read the full story here.
January 21, 2021 – LGBTQ protection included in President Biden’s executive orders: President Joe Biden is making moves to combat discrimination against the LGBTQ community. He has signed an executive order to get it done, but advocates said local officials need to feel added pressure. Housing experts said Biden’s executive order won’t unilateral make changes immediately. Discrimination continues to be a problem for people in the LGBTQ community, particularly when it relates to housing security. LGBTQ Americans make up a large percentage of the homeless population. View the full story here.
January 21, 2021 – Court Issues Rulings on Fair Housing Complaint: On January 20, 2021, a federal court ruled in separate motions for a fair housing complaint to proceed against all named defendants. In the case, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana/Banks v. New/Kirkpatrick Management/Twin Creeks Homeowners Association, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) and an Indianapolis resident alleged a pattern and practice of harassing, taunting, and threatening African American and Latino residents, guests, and contractors and creating a racially hostile environment in the Indianapolis subdivision of Twin Creeks. The FHCCI and a former resident of Twin Creeks allege that Vicki New, also a former resident, engaged in a campaign of harassment based on race and national origin for more than two years, and that Kirkpatrick Management and Twin Creeks Homeowners Association had the power to take strong action to correct or stop her conduct and failed to do so. Read the full press release here. The court rulings may be downloaded here and here.
January 20, 2021 – Memorandum on On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government: President Biden has issued an Executive Order which noted, “The Federal Government’s goal in advancing equity is to provide everyone with the opportunity to reach their full potential. Consistent with these aims, each agency must assess whether, and to what extent, its programs and policies perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits for people of color and other underserved groups. Such assessments will better equip agencies to develop policies and programs that deliver resources and benefits equitably to all.” Read the full order here.
January 20, 2021 – Memorandum on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation: President Biden has issued an Executive Order which noted, “It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. It is also the policy of my Administration to address overlapping forms of discrimination.” Read the full order here.
January 8, 2021 – Editorial: Holcomb got it right, so let his veto stand: It was nearly one year ago, during the 2020 session of the Indiana General Assembly, that we urged state lawmakers to reject a bill designed to prohibit local governments from regulating landlord-tenant relations without state authorization. At issue was a tenants-rights ordinance passed in February by the Indianapolis City-County Council and approved by Mayor Joe Hogsett as part of an effort to cut down on evictions. The initiative doesn’t prohibit landlords from evicting tenants, but it does levy fines against landlords who evict tenants in a retaliatory fashion—should they report unsatisfactory living conditions to authorities, for example. But lawmakers didn’t like it. And so, on the last day of the 2020 session, they passed a bill to prevent the city of Indianapolis—and any other cities, towns or counties in Indiana—from creating their own rules for landlord-tenant relations. It was the kind of move that is especially disappointing from Republicans, who espouse local control when it suits them and howl when the federal government tells states what they can and can’t do. Read full Editorial here.
January 5, 2021 – Potential for veto override of housing bill stirs call to action: Fears of an attempt to override Gov. Eric Holcomb’s March 2020 veto of a housing bill is spurring housing advocates to publicly call on the Indiana Legislature to not resurrect SEA 148, particularly when many Hoosiers are continuing to struggle under economic stress brought by the COVID-19 public health crisis. Members of the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition and other nonprofits said an override could only exacerbate the state’s problems with evictions and housing instability. Allowing Senate Enrolled Act 148 to become law, they said, would increase evictions, create more homelessness and adversely impact the physical and mental health of children and adults. More broadly, it would hamper the state and local economic recovery from the pandemic-induced downturn. Full story here.