FHCCI News and Updates
January 16, 2023 – ‘I’m tired of this’ | Hoosiers fighting for better tenant laws: In Indiana, there is no law that allows tenants to withhold their rent or make needed repairs and then deduct it from the rent. Full story here.
January 16, 2023 – FHCCI Honors Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) today honors the legacy of one of the fair housing movement’s greatest leaders, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In a speech to the graduating class at Stanford in 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously described two Americas. He said, “… there are literally two Americas. One America… is the habitat of millions of people who have food and material necessities for their bodies; and culture and education for their minds; and freedom and human dignity for their spirits. In this America, millions of people experience every day the opportunity of having life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in all of their dimensions… But tragically, and unfortunately, there is another America… In this America, millions of people find themselves living in rat-infested, vermin-filled slums. In this America, people are poor by the millions. They find themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” Full release here.
January 3, 2023 – First Merchants emerges from fair-lending settlement agreement: Muncie-based First Merchants Bank and the U.S. Department of Justice have agreed to end a settlement agreement that had been put in place in 2019 after the bank was accused of discriminatory lending practices in certain Indianapolis neighborhoods. Full story here.
December 29, 2022 – Why Indianapolis still doesn’t have enough affordable housing: Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration has made efforts to increase affordable housing development in the past five years, but Indianapolis still is severely short of homes that very low-income families can afford. Hogsett acknowledged in his mayoral bid announcement for a third term that he knows “the best way to end the violence in our streets is by helping our families stay in their homes.” Full story here.
December 28, 2022 – As Indianapolis battled sub-zero freeze, renters in these homes went without heat: As Indianapolis battled sub-zero temperatures over the past week that threatened to break a 30-year record, 75 residents, mostly at rental houses and apartments, reported a lack of heating in their homes, according to an IndyStar request of data from the Marion County Health and Hospital Corporation, also known as the Marion County health department. Full story here.
December 27, 2022 – Lack of heat at Downtown Indianapolis luxury apartment complex concerns residents: In the last few days, Central Indiana has seen bone-chilling temperatures and residents of a downtown luxury apartment complex, 9 on Canal, say they haven’t had any heat. WRTV saw firsthand the problems the residents are facing with their thermostats. When we walked into the leasing office, the temperature was in the 50’s. Some residents say it’s the same for their apartment units. Full story here.
December 19, 2022 – 6 takeaways on Indianapolis gentrification from Fair Housing report: A recent report from the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana showed that many Indianapolis neighborhoods, mostly near downtown, are experiencing signs of gentrification, from increased home prices to more wealthy, primarily white residents. Full story here.
December 16, 2022 – Fair housing report looks at neighborhood change: The latest report from the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana shows homeownership has become harder to reach for many in Indianapolis. Full story here.
December 15, 2022 – Housing report: Outside investors detrimentally impact Indianapolis neighborhoods: It’s getting even tougher to become a homeowner in Marion County, according to a new report by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. Part of the problem: Investors are buying up properties in lower- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Full story here.
December 14, 2022 – FHCCI Releases Report on Indy’s Changing Neighborhoods and the Impact of Investors, Foreclosures, and Mortgage Lending: The housing market in Indianapolis, like many urban centers, is in a time of change. House prices soared and peaked during the pandemic, interest rates are now rising, and homeownership has become increasingly unaffordable to low- and moderate-income residents. These trends do not only affect individual home seekers, who are locked out of access to the wealth that homeownership provides. They also affect neighbors and entire communities, who experience spillover effects such as upward pressure on rents, hazards from poorly maintained properties, and rising living costs from gentrification. Download the press release here or review the full report.
December 2, 2022 – “Our America: LOWBALLED” Premieres: It’s here! “Our America: LOWBALLED” is now streaming online. FHCCI clients and staff are highlighted in this 1 hour 16 minute documentary about appraisal bias released nationally. Want another way to watch? Go to Hulu or download ABC7 News Bay Area 24/7 streaming app on Roku, FireTV, Google TV, etc.
November 11, 2022 – Reform the CRA? Maybe just enforce it, first.: Editorial which sites the work of the FHCCI to challenge redlining. Read the column here.
November 10, 2022 – How investors are buying homes in Indiana and driving up prices: Dan O’Brien has been buying and selling real estate in Indiana for almost 10 years. He’s a realtor with Trueblood Real Estate in Hamilton County. He said central Indiana is a prime target for big investors. Read full story here.
November 9, 2022 – iCrime with Elizabeth Vargas Highlights FHCCI Case: National syndicated show, iCrime with Elizabeth Varga, recently highlighted one of the FHCCI’s cases which focused on the harassment and intimidation by a white resident of her neighbors of color in an Indianapolis subdivision. Watch the clip here.
October 18, 2022 – “Our America: Lowballed” Trailer Released: Black and Latino families have had their homes appraised for up to $500,000 less than expected, and race has shown to play a significant factor. According to an ABC Owned Television Stations data analysis of more than 50 million home loans, refinance applications in predominantly Black neighborhoods are nearly five times more likely to be under-appraised than in white communities. The analysis also found home-purchase loans in Black neighborhoods are more than twice as likely to be under-appraised. To raise awareness on this systemic issue affecting families across America and to equip viewers with information on what they can do if they find themselves lowballed in an appraisal, ABC Owned Television Stations has produced, “Our America: Lowballed,” premiering Dec. 2 wherever you stream: Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku. Watch the trailer here.
October 12, 2022 – Why Grassroots Action Is the Most Likely Path to Systemic Change: When it comes to addressing structural racism, the failure of national politics in the United States is plain to see. The Black-white wealth gap remains unchanged after half a century. The Black homeownership rate is about the same as it was when the National Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968. At 42 percent, it is about 30 percentage points lower than that of whites. Many of the practices used to segregate communities, like single family zoning and the price comparison approach for home appraisals, are still in place. Read full column here.
October 11, 2022 – Fair Housing Center Announces New Hires: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) announces two new hires to its Indianapolis based operations. The FHCCI welcomes to its team Erika Fotsch and Hafsa Razi. Read more here.
September 30, 2022 – People living in storage units? Marion County Public Health Department is investigating: WRTV also contacted housing advocates in the area. Their consensus? This situation is an indicator of the housing crisis Indianapolis is facing. Read more here.
September 16, 2022 – FHCCI Honored with Community Award: The FHCCI was honored by the Indianapolis Urban League at its 2022 An Urban Affair Gala with its 2022 Community Impact Award. Learn more about the Gala here.
September 12, 2022 – Study finds increasing rents, shrinking vacancy in Marion County rental units: Renters in Marion County have seen rent increases, on average, of $200 to $300 per month since the beginning of the pandemic, squeezing tenants while wages have increased at a much slower pace, according to a new study from the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. Read more here.
September 12, 2022 – Fair Housing Center report outlines rent spike’s burden on Marion County households: Rising rent prices are placing a burden on many Marion County renters, according to research just released by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. Representatives say the low vacancy rates compound the problem. Read more here.
September 12, 2022 – FHCCI Releases Report on Rising Rents and Rent Burdens in Marion County: Rising rents and scarce inventory are hitting renters in Marion County, Indiana especially hard, resulting in many tenants struggling to make ends meet. Record-low vacancy rates and a lack of affordable housing supply make the search for low-cost rental housing a near-impossible task. Historically underserved neighborhoods of color, as well as households of color, female-headed households, and families with children bear the brunt of the impact of these trends. In the new analysis by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), titled State of Fair Housing Report – At What Cost? Rents, Burdens, Evictions, and Profits in Marion County, the FHCCI examines the causes and consequences for Indy’s rental housing market identifying areas of significant concern. To learn more, download the press release or the full report.
August 31, 2022 – No place like home: Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana uses education, advocacy and enforcement to fight housing discrimination: Ten years ago, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana opened its doors in Indianapolis to help Hoosier tenants and homeowners keep their anchors. The small agency, which covers an area of 24 counties and 2.5 million people, educates, advocates and enforces the laws and regulations that prohibit housing discrimination. Read more here.
August 28, 2022 – New rules for Community Reinvestment Act have pluses and minuses: Listing all the studies and analyses that confirm people of color continue to be redlined out of mortgages and loans would require more time, ink and paper than we can bear. But here’s some data that encapsulates the frustration: Despite comparable credit scores and incomes, the algorithms used by mortgage lenders are 80% more likely to turn down African American applicants than white applicants. Read more here.
August 24, 2022 – Fair Housing Center Announces New Hires: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) announces two new hires to its Indianapolis based operations. The FHCCI welcomes to its team Johannah Frey and Noah Moenning. Read more here.
August 22, 2022 – Indiana housing organizations weigh in on changes to Community Reinvestment Act: Indiana housing organizations are weighing in on proposed changes to a federal law intended to get banks to invest in historically redlined communities. Read more here.
August 17, 2022 – ‘The Vrbo creep’: Neighborhoods worry as Indianapolis home rentals boom: The numbers of short-term rentals in Marion County are on the rise. Out-of-state investors are interested in Indianapolis and the surrounding area due to the economy, cheaper prices and the general pro-business attitude of the state. Indianapolis ranks in the top 15 of U.S. markets for summer demand growth in 2022 compared to 2021, according to AirDNA. Read more here.
August 15, 2022 – ‘It’s all money and greed.’ Tenants struggle as Indianapolis faces unprecedented rent hikes: For the first six months of this year, Indianapolis’ average rent has been more than 13% higher than the same time last year, according to data from Real Page, a data analytics and property management software company that surveys 60%-70% of the Indianapolis rental market. By comparison, rents in the first half of 2021 hovered between 3%-8% higher than the previous year. Read more here.
August 14, 2022 – ‘SQUEEZED OUT’: Corporate investors swoop into Bartholomew County’s housing market: Corporate investors have squeezed into Bartholomew County’s tight housing market, buying up dozens of homes and turning them into rentals in what analysts say is a nationwide trend that is making it harder for many first-time buyers to find their slice of the American Dream. Read more here.
August 10, 2022 – Fair Housing Organizations Announce $7.1 Million Dollar Settlement of Disability Discrimination Claims Against Senior Housing Provider; Agreement Requires an Estimated $6.3 Million to be Spent on Accessibility Improvements at 50 Properties: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) and eleven partner fair housing organizations in six different states announce that a settlement has been reached in a federal civil rights lawsuit against a group of developers, owners, investors, and operators of senior housing generally known as the Clover Group. The settlement will improve access for persons with disabilities at 50 senior apartment buildings located across the Northeast and Midwest. Read the full press release here or download a copy of the settlement agreement.
August 8, 2022 – FHA loans down across Marion County: The number of federal loans are down as the gap in homeownership widens. A new report from the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana provides a closer look at the use of federal loans meant for lower income and first time homebuyers in Marion County. Read more here.
August 4, 2022 – FHCCI Releases Report on FHA and VA Mortgage Lending in Marion County: In January 2022, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) released, The State of Fair Housing in Indiana Report – Mortgage Lending in Marion County 2018-2020. Today, the FHCCI releases a new chapter to this report analyzing the use of Federal Home Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage lending from 2018 to 2021 and offers some statistics to help show how lending has changed in the recent record-breaking housing market. We then explore how our historically underserved neighborhoods and borrowers of color are impacted. We also offer insight into which lenders leverage these unconventional loan products and which do not. To learn more, download the press release here or the full report.
July 20, 2022 – NFHA and Other Fair Housing Groups Fight Bank of America’s Attempt to Toss Out Lawsuit Regarding Bank’s Poor Maintenance of Homes in Black and Latino Communities: The National Fair Housing Alliance and 19 other fair housing groups (including the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana) have asked a federal judge to deny attempts by Bank of America and its property maintenance vendor, Safeguard Properties Management, to throw out a lawsuit regarding their property maintenance and marketing practices that the groups consider racially discriminatory. Read full alert here.
July 14, 2022 – FHCCI Announces Opposition to Proposed BMO Harris Merger and To Testify at Federal Public Hearing: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) will be testifying at a Public Hearing of the Federal Reserve in opposition to the proposed Bank of Montreal/BMO Financial Group (BMO Harris) Acquisition of BancWest Holding Inc. and Bank of the West. The FHCCI opposes this merger because BMO Harris is one of the lowest mortgage lending performers in the Indianapolis/Marion County, Indiana market in serving Black home seekers. The FHCCI cannot support a merger which would expand this lender’s reach and expansion of inequities for so many already unserved Black households and neighborhoods. As we will document in our attached comments, mergers rarely benefit communities already suffering from a history of redlining, racial covenants, and other discriminatory practices. For a complete copy of the FHCCI’s press release or a copy of its submitted comments, see below:
- FHCCI Press Release
- FHCCI Submitted Public Comments
- Federal Reserve Merger Page
- Press of Interest:
- Fair housing center opposes BMO Harris merger, citing poor record of lending to Black Hoosiers, Indy Star, July 14, 2022
- BMO faces community skepticism over Bank of the West deal, American Banker, July 14, 2022
- BMO, community groups square off at merger hearing, BankingDive, July 15, 2022
July 5, 2022 – FHCCI Announces Disability-Focused Grants Through Fair Housing Settlement: Since 2012, the FHCCI has conducted several investigations challenging housing discrimination against persons with disabilities. In June 2021, the FHCCI reached a settlement in an action alleging discrimination against people with disabilities in the design and construction of 14 multi-family apartment complexes located across Central and Northern Indiana. This settlement included funds that the FHCCI is now disbursing in celebration of the FHCCI’s 10th Anniversary. Read more here.
June 30, 2022 – Federal Judge Orders Former Indianapolis Homeowner to Pay Over $225,000 in Fair Housing Lawsuit: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) announces a ruling in a fair housing case addressing race and national origin housing discrimination by a former Indianapolis homeowner. In April 2020, the FHCCI and an Indianapolis resident filed a lawsuit against Vicki New, a former resident of the Indianapolis Twin Creeks subdivision, alleging that Ms. New engaged in a campaign of harassment based on race and national origin against her neighbors for more than two years. Download the full press release here. Related stories:
- Indiana woman ordered to pay $225k for making racist insults, death threats toward neighbors, Indy Star, June 30, 2022
- Indianapolis woman who attacked Black, Latino neighbors to pay $226K, WRTV, June 30, 2022
- Former Twin Creeks resident ordered to pay more than $225,000 for creating hostile environment, Indiana Lawyer, July 1, 2022
June 23, 2022 – Activists and housing experts discuss protecting communities during event: Activists and housing experts discussed Indianapolis housing inequity, past and present, during a panel discussion at the Herron School of Art and Design on Wednesday. According to the US Census Bureau, 65% of whites in Marion county own a home, compared with just 39% of Hispanics and only 34% of Black residents. Those numbers are lower even than the state average. Full story here.
June 14, 2022 – Elderly, disabled, housing agency tenants have no AC. They demand city takes action.: Like many residents in Indianapolis Housing Agency buildings, Regina Anderson, 63, woke up drenched in sweat Monday night. The air conditioning in her Millikan on Mass apartment had been broken since at least the end of May. Now, the city was in the grip of a dangerous heat wave that has swept into 100-degree temperatures. Full story here.
June 13, 2022 – Indy Organization and Church Leaders Call on More Transparency by the Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) in Serving its Tenants and Consumers: Today, the undersigned organizations, demand the Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) and the City of Indianapolis immediately take action to address the emergency housing crisis that residents of IHA properties and Marion County housing choice voucher holders are experiencing. Download the letter here.
June 7, 2022 – FHCCI Announces Grants and Funding Availability Through Fair Housing Settlement: Over the past several years, the FHCCI has conducted an extensive investigation of the maintenance and marketing of real estate-owned (REO/foreclosed) properties in Indianapolis. Through this work, the FHCCI has joined with several other fair housing organizations in four nationwide fair housing cases which alleged that specific lenders cared for REO homes in predominantly white neighborhoods differently than those in neighborhoods of color. In February 2022, a case filed against Fannie Mae reached a settlement. This settlement included grant funding to be administered by the FHCCI for Indianapolis neighborhoods of color impacted by foreclosure. Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) announces distribution of some of these funds and a call for applications for another portion of the funds. Read the full press release here.
June 2, 2022 – As Indy housing agency faces financial crisis, residents suffer the brunt of its neglect.: Douglas Jenkins’ arms itched with tiny, bloody bedbug bites. For the past three months, he had been terrorized by a bedbug infestation in his public housing apartment, the Richard G. Lugar Tower. The pests would crawl out from the folds in his couch and seams in his mattress at night to attack, keeping him awake. No maintenance personnel have come to address the problem, he said, despite him reporting the problem at least three times. Full story here.
May 27, 2022 – Discriminatory appraisal processes being studied by Indiana Housing Task Force: From property tax relief to addressing discriminatory lending and appraisal practices, those two bills authored by Pryor have not been taken up the Republican Super Majority. However, a part of the latter bill has been added to the Housing Task Force. The task force was created to review issues related to housing and housing shortages in Indiana. Read more here.
May 10, 2022 – Explore “Unwelcomed”: A Fair Housing History of Sales & Lending Discrimination, an Interactive Exhibit at MIBOR: Last month, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) debuted Unwelcomed: A Fair Housing History of Sales & Lending Discrimination, an interactive exhibit, at the Indianapolis Central Library. This month, the exhibit can be explored at MIBOR during our office hours. Read more here.
May 5, 2022 – Woman who hid race from home appraisers to get more value hopes US can change: If you are a homeowner there is a good chance you have looked recently at how much your home is worth. The housing boom continues to set real estate prices set records in many parts of the country. While high prices are difficult for people looking to buy, for homeowners themselves high values can sometimes provide financial perks. But what happens when your home is undervalued by an appraiser? Read more here.
April 27, 2022 – Despite Indiana’s low cost of living, many spend half their income or more on rent: Affordable housing in the state of Indiana is a challenge for many, whether Hoosiers are renting or paying a mortgage. According to a report from Prosperity Indiana, 27% of people who rent live in low-income households. Additionally, 72% of those households are severely cost burdened. In other words, more than half of their annual income goes towards paying rent or a mortgage. Read more here.
April 24, 2022 – Advocates for fair housing working to address Indianapolis tenant crisis: Fair housing advocates gathered at Second Presbyterian Church on Sunday to discuss the housing crisis happening across the city. See video clip here.
April 20, 2022 – FHCCI Releases 10th Anniversary Video, “What Does Fair Housing Mean to You?”: Representatives from the FHCCI Board of Directors share their insights around the FHCCI’s 10th Anniversary. View the video here.
April 17, 2022 – Home buying security: Know your legal rights if you suspect lending discrimination: April is National Fair Housing Month, which celebrates the passage of the Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968. This legislation prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and disability. Broad in scope, the law covers the home-buying process, including lending. As we see the housing market tighten, the question of fair lending arises more often. Read more here.
April 15, 2022 – Exhibit traces history of housing discrimination in Indiana: Based on the belief that eliminating discrimination starts with education, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana in partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library has developed an interactive exhibit that details the history of practices and tactics that barred certain groups from homeownership. The exhibit, “Unwelcomed: A Fair Housing History of Sales & Lending Discrimination,” is on display at the Central Indianapolis Library, 40 E. St. Clair St., through the end of April. On a series of 11 oversized panels, the story of redlining, blockbusting, racial covenants and other forms of housing discrimination are told through text, photos and QR codes that link to additional resources like videos and reports. Full story here.
April 12, 2022 – FHCCI Releases Video on Fair Lending: In honor of Fair Housing Month, the FHCCI has released, “8 Modern Day Forms of Lending Housing Discrimination.” This short video highlights modern day ways in which bias or housing discrimination may occur in the mortgage lending market. A thank you to Cummins Inc. for their support. You can watch the video here.
April 11, 2022 – City of Indianapolis Presented the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana with the 2022 Accessibility Award: This morning, Mayor Joe Hogsett, on the behalf of the City of Indianapolis, presented the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) with the Accessibility Award, one of four Access and Inclusion Awards given by the Office of Disability Affairs and the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disability. This award is given to Indianapolis organizations that are on the forefront of improving visibility and lowering barriers for the disabled community, the largest minority group in Indianapolis. Read the full press release here.
- Related Press:
- Unfair housing history on display at Central Library, WFYI, April 12, 2022
- Exhibit traces history of housing discrimination in Indiana, Indiana Lawyer, April 15, 2022
- Fair Housing Exhibit Opens at Central Library, Indianapolis Public Library, April 11, 2022
April 11, 2022 – Fair Housing Exhibit Opens at Central Indianapolis Library: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), in partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library, announces the opening of Unwelcomed: A Fair Housing History of Sales & Lending Discrimination, an interactive exhibit, on April 11, 2022 at the Indianapolis Central Library, to celebrate the anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act in 1968. The exhibit will educate participants on the systemic barriers that have impacted today’s neighborhoods through redlining, racial covenants, steering, neighborhood intimidation, and other forms of housing discrimination. Modern-day forms of housing discrimination in sales and lending will also be highlighted. Download the press release here.
April 8, 2022 – FHCCI Releases Video on Sexual Harassment: In honor of Fair Housing Month, the FHCCI has released, “Abigail’s Housing Discrimination Story and Sexual Harassment.” This short video shares the impact of housing discrimination through a FHCCI client story and experience of sexual harassment by a landlord. You can watch the video here.
April 7, 2022 – Fair Housing Center Announces Fair Housing Month Activities with Annual Conference, Videos, and Exhibit: Each year, April is celebrated across the country as Fair Housing Month to honor the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act in April 1968. This year, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) has a month of targeted activities in celebration and recognition of fair housing and celebrating the FHCCI’s 10th anniversary. Download the press release here.
March 29, 2022 – Fair Housing Lawsuit Filed Alleging Disability Discrimination Against 38 Properties Nationwide: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), along with six fellow fair housing organizations across the United States (“Plaintiffs”), announces a federal lawsuit against Clover Group and its related entities (“Defendants”), alleging violations of fair housing laws against persons with disabilities. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Syracuse Division. Download the press release here. Federal complaint here.
- Press of Interest:
- Central Indiana fair housing group files suit against senior living developer, Indiana Lawyer/Indiana Business Journal, March 29, 2022
- A lawsuit accuses 3 Indiana senior living properties of violating the Fair Housing Act, IndyStar, March 29, 2022
- Indiana center joins agencies in lawsuit about disability discrimination, WISH TV, March 29, 2022
- 2 Indianapolis properties named in accessibility lawsuit, Indianapolis Recorder, April 7, 2022
March 25, 2022 – How the White House plans to tackle home appraisal bias: How much is your home worth? It’s the job of a home appraiser to figure the value, based on facts and figures. But a Black Indianapolis homeowner and others nationwide say they got different prices after hiding their ethnicity. Now, the White House is stepping in with a plan to tackle bias in the home appraisal process. Full story here.
March 24, 2022 – Say It With Your Chest: Race Matters in Lending: For decades, the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act has allowed banks to offer special mortgage programs specifically for “disadvantaged” homebuyers. The law creates an exception to anti-discrimination rules so banks can boost their lending to people of color and other underserved groups without having to worry about being sued. These special purpose credit programs, or SPCPs, are potentially powerful tools to extend credit and subsidies to would-be buyers who are struggling to get mortgages. Full story here.
March 24, 2022 – Indy woman’s story plays role in US appraisal equity plan: The White House has used a News 8 story to address the inequity in home appraisals. Carlette Duffy’s story of appraisal discrimination was one of many that helped the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development get the ball rolling on an equity plan, which was released this month. Full story here.
March 23, 2022 – Local organizations gain recognition by city of Indianapolis for inclusivity: The City of Indianapolis is highlighting its efforts to improve visibility for the disabled community and recognizing some of the key organizations making our city more inclusive. The disabled community is the largest minority group in Indianapolis. Mayor Joe Hogsett has been working to make the city more inclusive for this group with the help of several local organizations. Those organizations are being recognized during the annual Indianapolis Access and Inclusion Awards. Full story here.
March 9, 2022 – FHCCI Announces Fair Housing Settlement with Indianapolis Homeowners’ Association and Management Group: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) announces a fair housing settlement with the Twin Creeks Homeowners Association and Kirkpatrick Management (collectively “Defendants”) to resolve a federal lawsuit filed in April 2020 alleging race and national origin discrimination. As part of the settlement, Defendants will update policies on how to handle discrimination and harassment allegations, will participate in fair housing training, and pay $262,500 as compensation for the Plaintiffs’ damages, attorney fees, and costs. The Defendants made no admission of liability or wrongdoing in connection with the allegations and claims made. Read full press release here. Download the consent decree or settlement agreement. You can also learn more about this case on our Advocacy Page.
February 28, 2022 – The Lasting Impacts of Segregation and Redlining: The January/February 2022 edition of the Midtown Indy Magazine discusses the lasting impact of redlining and highlights the FHCCI’s recent Mortgage Lending Report. View the magazine here.
February 24, 2022 – FHCCI Honored with Three Grassroots Awards: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) announces the receipt of three new awards for its fair housing impact and outreach. “The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana is deeply honored and humbled with the presentation of these awards,” stated Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the FHCCI. “Although we do not do our work to win awards, to know that these three critical organizations working at the grassroots level in our city want to celebrate the work of the FHCCI is truly meaningful to us.” Full release here.
February 23, 2022 – Fishers mayor concerned about rental property increase: A rise in rental properties in Fishers has caught the attention of Mayor Scott Fadness who is concerned about the impact of that increase. Over the last five years, nearly 1 out of 10 homes purchased in the city has been transformed in to a rental property. “Of that one thousand nearly 33% of those were purchased by entities that were out of state,” Mayor Fadness said. Full story here.
February 18, 2022 – Bad Credit? No Savings? Unconventional (Maybe Risky) Ways to Buy a Home: The median U.S. sale price reached $346,900 in 2021, up almost 17 percent from the previous year and the highest on record, according to the National Association of Realtors, a trade group. And more existing homes sold last year — 6.12 million — than in any year since 2006, with nearly one in four going to all-cash buyers. Now a number of companies ranging from billionaire-backed tech firms to nonprofit housing groups are competing in a small but quickly growing segment of the market with a shared pitch: Don’t go it alone. Full story here.
February 18, 2022 – City, partners push forward with renter support despite setbacks: Indianapolis has long struggled to rein in dilapidated housing complexes owned by absentee, typically out-of-state, landlords. It’s slogging through lengthy lawsuits with the owners of multiple troubled properties, and officials say there’s another filing ready to go unless a new owner takes over an infamously rundown complex. Read more here.
February 7, 2022 – FHCCI and Other Fair Housing Groups Reach Historic Settlement with Fannie Mae Focused on Rebuilding Communities of Color: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), along with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 19 other local fair housing organizations throughout the country, reached a landmark $53 million agreement with Fannie Mae (formally known as the Federal National Mortgage Association) to resolve a case arising from allegations that Fannie Mae treated foreclosed homes in communities of color unfavorably. The settlement will help rebuild and strengthen communities of color in 39 metropolitan areas including Indianapolis. In the case, the FHCCI and the other plaintiffs alleged that Fannie Mae maintained and marketed its foreclosed homes in predominantly white neighborhoods while allowing similar homes in communities of color to fall into disrepair and that this differential treatment exacerbated the damage caused by the 2008 mortgage crisis and impeded recovery from the crisis in neighborhoods of color. The case was the first time a federal court confirmed the nation’s fair housing laws cover the maintenance and marketing of Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. To learn more, download the full press release here or visit our Advocacy page for more information about this case.
- Press of Interest:
- National $53 million Fannie Mae settlement to benefit Indy neighborhoods, Indy Star, February 7, 2022
- Central Indiana fair housing group to get $1M in Fannie Mae settlement, IBJ, February 7, 2022
- Fair housing settlement finds Fannie Mae didn’t keep up properties with equity, WFYI, February 9, 2022
- Landmark housing discrimination settlement with Fannie Mae sets key precedent, Reuters, February 11, 2022
February 3, 2022 – NCRC And Old National Announce $8.3 Billion Community Benefits Agreement To Strengthen Small Businesses, And Minority & Underserved Communities: Old National Bancorp (Old National) and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) today announced an $8.3 billion Community Growth Plan that builds on its long-standing commitment to support historically underserved and economically disadvantaged individuals, families and communities throughout its footprint. The plan was developed in collaboration with NCRC and its members and is subject to the closing of the First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (First Midwest) merger. Read the full NCRC release here.
February 2, 2022 – Black Homeowners Are Getting Lower Appraisals Than White Neighbors: The home appraisal industry is one of the least diverse industries in the country, with over 96% of appraisers identifying as White. Stories have been told of Black families having their home appraised and are told it’s worth one amount. Then their white friend poses as the homeowner, has the same home appraised and is told it’s worth a whole lot more. Now more people are starting to come forward and share this same experience, from California to Indiana to Ohio — it’s a problem nationwide. Full story here.
January 25, 2022 – Indiana House bill takes aim at discriminatory lending and home appraisals: An Indiana House Democrat has authored a bill aimed at stopping discrimination in residential real estate lending and appraisals. House Bill 1326 by Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, prohibits discrimination in appraisals and lending based on the applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin or on the residents of the neighborhood in which the property is located. Full story here.
January 13, 2022 – Rep. Pryor: Black homeownership rates are declining. Here’s what Indiana can do about it.: A recent report from the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) confirmed what advocates have been trying to explain for years — historical discrimination in mortgage practices has led to a drastic decline in Black homeownership rates in Marion County. Full column here.
January 12, 2022 – Indiana Black legislators introduce legislation to ‘dismantle discriminatory systems’: Asserting they are willing to fight “these old battles,” the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus unveiled its 2022 legislative agenda that is focused on addressing what they called the “long-term effects of racism in society” in the areas of wealth, education, health and housing. “After failed attempts at raising the income of Black families, African Americans still battle large wealth, education, health and other gaps in this country,” Rep. Robin Shackleford, chairwoman of the IBLC, said. “It is for these reasons and more that we feel it is time not only to have this conversation, but to take action.” Full story here.
January 4, 2022 – Cashed out: Nonwhite homeowners denied access to refi bonanza: What’s a whitewash worth? In the case of Indiana homeowner Carlette Duffy, about$150,000. For Marin County, California, couple Tenisha Tate-Austin and Paul Austin, it’s$500,000. After appraisers undervalued their properties, the Black homeowners “whitewashed’’ them — by having white friends stand in for them and replacing family photos with pictures of white people — and tried again with a new appraiser. The appraised value of Duffy’s home doubled, while the Austins’ jumped to $1.5million from about $1 million in the first assessment. Full story here.
January 3, 2022 – FHCCI Releases Report on Mortgage Lending in Marion County: Today, we kick off our anniversary with the release of The State of Fair Housing in Indiana Report – Mortgage Lending in Marion County 2018-2020, to share key data and our analysis with the general public. Marion County is Indiana’s highest population county. It is also a racially diverse county with significant populations of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. However, since 2010, Marion County’s homeownership rate has decreased by 8.5%, leading to 9,500 fewer owner occupied households. Black homeowners have been especially hard hit with a decrease in the County’s homeownership rate of nearly 20% over the past decade, losing nearly 2,500 owner-occupied households. At the same time, many persons of color and low-to-moderate income Marion County residents are being displaced due to high rent and rising home values. To learn more, download our Press Release or the full Lending Report.
- Press of Interest:
- ‘Damning’ report shows plummeting Black homeownership in Indy. Here’s why., Indy Star, January 3, 2022
- Marion County mortgage data shows lower homeownership, especially among Blacks and Hispanics, Indiana Lawyer, January 3, 2022
- Report finds mortgage lending disparities persist in Indianapolis, WFYI, January 4, 2022
- Report: Black homeownership down 20% in Marion County since 2010, Indianapolis Recorder, January 4, 2022