FHCCI News and Updates – 2014

December 4, 2014 – Fair Housing Centers Settle Housing Accessibility Lawsuit against Buckingham Realty and Development Corp. and Several Co-Defendants: The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, and HOPE Fair Housing Center (HOPE) have settled an accessibility lawsuit against Midwest developer Buckingham Realty and Development Corp. and several co-defendants, regarding alleged violations at the Champion Farms Apartments (Louisville, Kentucky), Grand Prairie Apartments (Peoria, Illinois), Providence at Old Meridian Apartments (Carmel, Indiana) and The Reserve at Williams Glen Apartments (Zionsville, Indiana). 

December 1, 2014 – Indianapolis/Marion County Set to Vote on Historic Source of Income Protection: Tonight, the Indianapolis/Marion County City/County Council will vote on Proposal 215, which would add source of income as a protected class to the City/County Human Relations Ordinance. If passed, it would be unlawful for housing providers to deny a prospective tenant solely because he or she receives rental assistance such as a Housing Choice Voucher or subsidy from a nonprofit agency such as domestic violence survivors’ organizations or independent living centers. Read more here.

  • Press
    • Open Housing for Section 8 Recipients on Council Agenda, FOX 59, November 30, 2014:     direct link
    • Should all Indy landlords have to take Section 8 vouchers?, Indianapolis Star, December 9, 2014:     direct link

November 12, 2014 – Fair Housing Groups File Familial Status Discrimination Complaint: The Connecticut Fair Housing Center (CFHC), the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), and the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center (MVFHC) announce that they have filed a fair housing complaint against TGM Associates, a New York-based property management company that owns and operates apartment complexes throughout the United States. The groups allege that TGM has engaged in systemic discrimination against families with children across five properties evaluated in three states. Read more here.

November 11, 2014 – FHCCI Releases Report Showing Significant Section 8 Refusal Rates: A report released today by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) reveals high refusal rates for Hoosiers seeking housing with housing choice vouchers. The FHCCI conducted a total of 51 tests for the audit focusing on housing providers in Marion County, Indiana. The tests showed that those using vouchers faced denial rates of 82%. In areas that are predominantly Caucasian, home seekers with vouchers faced refusal rates of 90%. These are alarming rates of refusal and significantly impact the ability of those who are low-income to find affordable, safe, high-quality housing in the neighborhoods of their choice. Read more below.

  • Press Release
  • Audit Report
  • Press:
    • Audit Highlights Housing Discrimination in Marian County, Indiana Public Media, November 12, 2014: direct link
    • Report Shows Many Marion County Residents Denied Housing, WIBC, November 12, 2014: direct link
    • STUNNER! In Tests, 80% To 90% of Folks With Section 8 Vouchers Turned DOWN For Housing In Indy, The Amos Brown Show, November 11, 2014: direct link

November 11, 2014 – FHCCI Honors Our Nation’s Servicemembers This Veterans’ Day: This Veterans’ Day, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) honors our nation’s servicemembers for the sacrifices they have made and joins them to increase awareness and enforce their rights to equal housing. Read more here.

October 15, 2014 – FHCCI Receives HUD Grant: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has awarded a three-year private enforcement grant of $325,000 per year to the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI). These funds are provided through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and will be used to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the federal Fair Housing Act, and work to promote equal housing opportunities. The grant total for the three-year period for the FHCCI is $975,000. Read more here.

October 14, 2014 – FHCCI Honors Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Each October, the nation honors those affected by domestic violence. The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) stands with survivors to assist them in enforcing their rights to safe and equal housing. Many do not know that the state of Indiana has laws in place to ensure that survivors are able to put their safety first without fear of eviction or penalties from their housing provider. Read more here.

September 26, 2014 – FHCCI Celebrates Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) joins the nation in celebrating Hispanic American Heritage Month this September 15 through October 15, 2014 and honors the trailblazing Latino Americans who have contributed to American history and culture. Read more here.

September 3, 2014 – NFHA and 17 fair housing centers release report detailing racial disparities in maintenance of bank-owned and Fannie Mae-owned foreclosures in 30 metro areas nationwide: The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 17 of its local member organizations, including the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, announced the results of a major undercover investigation into the failure of banks and property preservation companies to maintain and market foreclosed homes in African-American and Latino neighborhoods.  The investigation of Real Estate Owned (REO) homes in 30 major metropolitan areas found disturbing incidents of discrimination in how these banks and Fannie Mae’s preservation management companies fail to secure the doors and windows, mow lawns, fix gutters and downspouts, remove trash and provide other maintenance for REOs in African American and Latino neighborhoods, while providing these services for their REOs located in White neighborhoods. For more information, go to:

  • Press Release
  • REO Report (Note: the work of the FHCCI is noted in particular on pages 47, 49, 50-51, and 63.) Additional link here.
  • Press Stories:
    • Fair Housing Report Cites Lenders, WIBC, September 3, 2014: direct link
    • Are these homes lowering property values? Guess who owns them., Indianapolis Star, September 4, 2014:     direct link
    • When empty homes are left to rot, everyone suffers, Indianapolis Star, September 8, 2014:     direct link

June 4, 2014 – FHCCI Celebrates LGBT Pride Month: This June, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) celebrates LGBT Pride Month and honors the landmark achievements towards equality that have been made. “The FHCCI seeks to ensure a more inclusive and diverse Indiana,” said FHCCI Executive Director Amy Nelson. “The LGBT community is a vital part of our city and our state. Over the last few years, we have seen phenomenal progress towards a more equal society, but we still have further to go.” Read more here.

May 13, 2014 – FHCCI Files Against Safeguard: The National Fair Housing Alliance and five of its member organizations (including the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana) announced a fourth amended federal housing discrimination complaint with new evidence against Safeguard Properties. Headquartered in Ohio, Safeguard is the nation’s largest privately-held mortgage field services property preservation company, also known as a field service vendor. The company is hired by Fannie Mae and major banks to maintain and market their bank-owned, foreclosed homes (a.k.a. REO properties). For more information on the case, go to:

April 1, 2014 – April is Fair Housing Month: “Each April we celebrate the anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to welcome a civil rights pioneer to Indianapolis as part of this year’s Fair Housing Month events,” said Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the FHCCI. “As we look forward to the work we hope to accomplish in furthering equal housing opportunities for all, it’s important to acknowledge the history of the civil rights movement and those ‘foot soldiers for freedom’ like Mrs. LaNier, whom we owe a great debt.” Read the entire press release here.

March 14, 2014 – Fair Housing Proclamation Issued: The FHCCI was honored to have Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard sign a proclamation observing April as Fair Housing Month, the FHCCI’s mission and upcoming April 17th Fair Housing Conference.

March 13, 2014 – FHCCI Honors Women’s History Month: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) celebrates Women’s History Month and acknowledges the strides that have been made in gender equality. “It was just a generation ago that it was perfectly lawful for a landlord to refuse to rent to a female head of household,” stated Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the FHCCI. “In 1974, the federal Fair Housing Act was amended to include sex as a protected class, ensuring that equally qualified women had equal access to housing.” Read the entire press release here.

February 20, 2014 – FHCCI Releases 2013 Annual Report: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) celebrates its second year of fighting housing discrimination in Central Indiana with the release of its 2013 Annual Report. Read the report here.

February 10, 2014 – FHCCI Celebrates Black History Month: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) celebrates Black History Month this February and honors the civil rights leaders who have pioneered integration in the United States. “The Civil Rights Act of 1866 made it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race or color in any housing transaction,” said Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the FHCCI. “Fair housing has been an integral part of African-American history since the earliest days of our nation. The later passage of the federal Fair Housing Act in April 1968 added needed enforcement power to address racial discrimination in housing.” Read the entire press release here.

  • Press Stories:
    • Fair Housing Center of Centeral Indiana Celebrates Black History Month, Indianapolis Recorder, February 10, 2014: direct link

January 20, 2014 – FHCCI Honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) today honors the legacy of one of the fair housing movement’s greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Dr. King knew that social justice could only be achieved through the creation of a law that protected equal housing opportunity as a right,” said Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the FHCCI. “His work was vital in forging the fair housing movement and furthering efforts to create a vibrant and inclusive society.” Read the entire press release here.

January 16, 2014 – FHCCI Announces Over $500,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization Grants: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) announces over $500,000 in grants to support neighborhood stabilization in Indianapolis communities of color impacted by foreclosure. Learn about projects funded here.

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