FHCCI News and Updates – 2016

December 8, 2016 – Fannie Mae accused of discrimination in Indy, 37 other metros: Indianapolis is among 38 metropolitan areas included in a discrimination lawsuit filed Monday against the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae. Read the Indianapolis Recorder story here

December 5, 2016 – Mortgage Giant Fannie Mae Accused of Racial Discrimination in 38 U.S. Metro Areas – National Fair Housing Alliance and 20 Civil Rights Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over Neglected Foreclosures: Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 20 local fair housing organizations from across the United States, including the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), filed a housing discrimination lawsuit against Fannie Mae in federal district court in San Francisco, California. The lawsuit alleges that Fannie Mae purposely fails to maintain its foreclosures (also known as real estate owned or “REO” properties) in middle- and working-class African American and Latino neighborhoods to the same level of quality it does for foreclosures it owns in white middle- and working-class neighborhoods. The data supporting the federal lawsuit, which includes substantial photographic evidence, shows a stark pattern of discriminatory conduct by Fannie Mae in the maintenance of its foreclosures. Read more below:

December 2, 2016 – Judge Rules Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Involving Persons with Disabilities May Continue: An Indianapolis subsidized senior-citizens housing facility must face a lawsuit from tenants with disabilities who claim the three-story apartment building failed to repair its only elevator for weeks, leaving them unable to get to apartments on the top two stories and leaving some disabled tenants stranded upstairs. Read more here.

November 3, 2016 – Fair Housing Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination Against Families with Children Filed Against Jeffersonville Landlord: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) and a Jeffersonville resident announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against the Pinnacle Properties Development Group, LLC of Jeffersonville, Indiana. The complaint alleges that the defendants refused to rent a two bedroom apartment to a mother with three young children due to the presence of her children. Pinnacle Properties Development Group, LLC owns and operates more than 400 rental dwellings in Clark County, Indiana. For more information: 

September 30, 2016 – Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana Receives Two HUD Fair Housing Grants: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is awarding $38 million under its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to confront discriminatory housing practices. HUD’s grants will support some 155 national and local fair housing organizations working to confront violations of the nation’s landmark Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana was notified of receipt of two twelve month grants: A $300,000 Private Enforcement Initiative Grant and a $87,513 Education & Outreach Initiative Grant. Read more here

September 8, 2016 – Discrimination complaint against Bank of America expanded: Four years after Bank of America was formally accused of discriminatory practices in minority-majority neighborhoods in Indianapolis and several other cities, the issue remains unresolved, and the alleged discrimination continues to be found in more cities across the country. Read the Indianapolis Recorder story here.

August 31, 2016 – Bank of America Accused of Racial Discrimination in 30 U.S. Metropolitan Areas and 201 Cities: Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and nine local fair housing organizations filed an amended discrimination complaint against Bank of America (BoA). The complaint alleges illegal discrimination by BoA in African American and Latino neighborhoods in six additional cities. This new evidence of discriminatory treatment by BoA will be added to the federal Fair Housing Act complaint on file with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Furthermore, NFHA and the nine fair housing organizations added new evidence to their existing claims.  The six additional cities are:  Columbus, OH; Gary, IN; Minneapolis, MN; Newark, NJ; Tampa, FL; and neighborhoods in suburban Detroit. Note: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is part of the original filed complaint. For more information:

August 29, 2016 – Investing in Inconclusive Communities Report Released: Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) released a new report entitled “Investing in Inclusive Communities: How Fair Housing Organizations Foster Diverse and Stable Neighborhoods Using the Federal Fair Housing Act.” This report provides a detailed overview of how 14 fair housing centers, including the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, invested $27 million in predominantly African American and Latino communities following an agreement with Wells Fargo Bank in 2013. The publication contains information on the major strategies employed in the 19 cities where community support grants were invested. It includes stories of grantees and families in the community and provides best practices for future community investment endeavors. Read the report here.

July 13, 2016 – Large Regional Property Management Company Accused of Housing Discrimination: Today, the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan (FHCWM), the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan (FHCSEM), the Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan (FHCSWM) and the Central Ohio Fair Housing Association (COFHA) announce that they have filed a fair housing complaint against AMP Residential, an Indianapolis-based property management company that owns and operates over 8,000 rental housing units in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Alabama. The groups allege that AMP has engaged in systemic discrimination against families with children across 20 properties evaluated in three states. Read more below:

June 14, 2016 – Fair Housing Groups Around the Country Demand Westchester Enforcement: In papers filed in Federal District Court today, 10 civil rights groups from across the country are seeking to file a brief in support of the Court’s full consideration of the facts and perspective brought to the Court’s attention by ADC in a May 11th letter. The groups, pointing out that the failure to enforce the decree fully will embolden others across the country to continue to perpetuate segregation, asked the Court to order the robust remedies sought by ADC. The 10 groups filing today are: Central Ohio Fair Housing Association, Disability Law Center, Enhanced Section 8 Outreach Program, ERASE Racism, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, Fair Housing Council of Orange County, Inclusive Communities Project, Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, and National Fair Housing Alliance. Read more here.

June 8, 2016 – CIRA Announces Annual Awards: On Thursday, June 9, 2016, the Central Indiana Realtist Association (CIRA) will honor its 2016 Trailblazers and “Best of the Best” Award Winners at its Annual Trailblazers Luncheon. The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana is a proud sponsor of this event. Read more here.

May 4, 2016 – Indiana Sign Shows Bias: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana has been alerted (and has verified) that a sign stating “No More Chin” was posted in a Southport, Indiana neighborhood this week. Fortunately, neighbors which were appalled that this was occurring, alerted us, and took action. Read more here.

April 11, 2016 – Fair Housing Lawsuit Filed Against Anderson Housing Authority: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) and two Anderson residents announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against the Anderson Housing Authority of Anderson, Indiana. The complaint alleges that the defendant discriminated in its ownership and management of its multifamily public housing dwellings on the basis of race, gender, and disability in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and for its failure to maintain its dwellings in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition in violation of state housing laws. “Today, we celebrate the 48th anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act,” stated Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the FHCCI. “Yet, female tenants at Westvale Manor have had to put up with leering and degrading comments by the maintenance staff for years while persons with disabilities had needed accommodations ignored greatly impacting their health and well being.” Read more below:

April 5, 2016 – FHCCI Releases 2015 Annual Report: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) has released its 2015 Annual Report. The report highlights the major work of the FHCCI during the 2015 calendar year through its four main programs: Advocacy, Education, Inclusive Communities, and Public Policy. The full report can be downloaded from the “Reports” column/box to the right or click here.

April 4, 2016 – FHCCI Celebrates Fair Housing Month with Annual Conference: Each year, April is celebrated around the country as Fair Housing Month. This year, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) celebrates the month with our annual conference. The FHCCI’s 4th Annual Fair Housing Conference, entitled Fair Housing: Putting the Pieces Together, will be held at the Wyndham West Hotel in Indianapolis from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM on Thursday, April 14, 2016. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Gustavo F. Velasquez, will open and keynote the FHCCI’s conference this year. Read the entire release here.

April 1, 2016 – FHCCI Chosen for IHCDA-The Magazine Cover: Amy Nelson of the FHCCI was chosen for the IHCDA-The Magazine Spring 2016 cover. Hear how she become a fair housing advocate and learn more about the work of the FHCCI. Download the full magazine here.

February 11, 2016 – Fair Housing Lawsuit Alleging Disability Discrimination Filed Against Senior Living Community in Indianapolis: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services (IPAS), and four people with disabilities announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against United Church Residences of Indianapolis, Indiana, Inc., and United Church Homes, Inc., owners of Capitol Station apartments in Indianapolis, Indiana. The complaint alleges that the defendants did not take timely action to repair the only elevator in an apartment building which housed residents age 62 years or older. Many residents of Capitol Station had mobility issues which were readily apparent, for whom taking the stairs was dangerous or impossible. This suit alleges that Capitol Station was without a working elevator for five and a half weeks in August and September 2015 resulting in harm to residents with disabilities. Read more below:

February 8, 2016 – Fair Housing Lawsuit Alleging Disability Discrimination Filed Against Indianapolis Property: Today, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI), the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services (IPAS), and an Indianapolis family announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against the Grandville Cooperative, Inc. and Kirkpatrick Management Co. Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana. The complaint alleges that the defendants refused to rent to a family that included a person with disabilities stating that “…it will be a liability to offer [the person with a disability] a unit that is not accommodating to everyone in the household.” Read more below:

January 27, 2016 – FHCCI Releases Testimony Against SB 100 and SB 344: The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) has released its written testimony noting its opposition to SB 100 and SB 344. To review the testimony: SB 100, SB 100 Attachment, SB 344

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