Public Policy Program

The Public Policy Program of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana 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.

FHCCI List of Passed Indiana Legislation Which Are Barriers to

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

  • SB 240 (2018): Emotional support animal restrictions in rental housing and infraction for medical professionals. Provides that a dwelling that is exempt from the Indiana fair housing law is not subject to the requirements applicable to emotional support animals. Defines “emotional support animal”. Specifies who may use an emotional support animal, who may prescribe an emotional support animal, and when an individual may be prescribed an emotional support animal. Provides that an individual with a disability that is not readily apparent who submits a request for an emotional support animal that falsely suggests the individual has a disability that entitles the individual to the use of an emotional support animal in a dwelling commits a Class A infraction. 
    • Senate Civil Law Committee: To watch the committee hearing, click here and choose January 29 – then scroll to 19:20 mark on the video for the start of the hearing
    • Senate Floor Debate and Vote: To watch the Senate floor discussion and vote, click here and choose Tuesday, February 6 – then scroll to the 2:39:15 mark for the start of the debate
    • House Judiciary Committee: To watch the committee hearing, click here and choose February 26 – then scroll to 1:23:44 mark on the video for the start of the hearing   
    • House Floor Debate and Vote: To watch the House floor discussion and vote, click here and choose Thursday, March 1 (part 1) – then scroll to the 1:08:30 mark for the start of the debate
  • SB 558 (2017): Bans cities from passing ordinances to promote inclusionary zoning as it relates to affordable housing and adds language for landlord’s use regarding occupancy limitations in rental housing. Provides that a county or municipality may not adopt or enforce any land use or planning ordinance or regulation that has the effect of: (1) controlling rental or purchase price; or (2) requiring real property to be reserved for lease or sale to certain owners. Provides that a county or municipality may not require the owner of privately owned real property to agree to: (1) any requirement that would have the effect of controlling rental or purchase price; or (2) the payment of a fee, in lieu of a requirement that would have the effect of controlling rental or purchase price, as a prerequisite to consideration or approval of: (A) certain permits; or (B) any primary, secondary, or revised plats. Provides that a county or municipality retains the right to: (1) manage and control the development of a commercial or residential property in which the county or municipality has an ownership interest; and (2) enact, enforce, or maintain any general land use or zoning regulation that does not have the effect of: (A) controlling rental or purchase price; or (B) requiring real property to be reserved for sale or lease to certain owners. Allows an owner of privately owned real property to voluntarily enter into an agreement with a county or municipality that: (1) controls rental or purchase price; or (2) requires real property to be reserved for sale or lease to certain owners; in exchange for incentives or grants. Also includes language as it relates to nuisance ordinances.
    • Senate Civil Law Committee: To watch the committee hearing, click here and choose January 30 – then scroll to 27:00 mark on the video for the start of the hearing
    • Senate Floor Debate and Vote: To watch the Senate floor discussion and vote, click here and choose Thursday, February 16 – then scroll to the 1:07:16 mark for the start of the debate
    • House Judiciary Committee: To watch the committee hearing, click here and choose April 3 – then scroll to 1:08:55 mark for the start of the hearing
    • House Floor Debate and Vote: To watch the House floor discussion and vote, click here and choose April 6 (part 2) – then scroll to the 26:44 mark for the start of the debate
  • HB 1300 (2015): Section 8 discrimination protection ban. Prohibits a county, municipality, or township from adopting an ordinance that requires or would have the effect of requiring a landlord to participate in: (1) a Section 8 program of the federal Housing Act of 1937; or (2) a similar program concerning housing. Also includes non-fair housing issues.
    • House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee: To watch the committee hearing, click here and choose February 3 – then scroll to 1:35 mark on the video for the start of the hearing 
    • House Floor Debate and Vote: To watch the House floor discussion and vote, click here and choose February 12 (part 1) – then scroll to the 08:20 mark for the start of the debate
    • Senate Local Government Committee: To watch the committee hearing, click here and choose March 25 – then scroll to 4:52 mark on the video for the start of the hearing 
    • Senate Floor Debate and Vote: To watch the Senate floor discussion and vote, click here and choose April 9 – then scroll to the 47:00 mark for the start of the debate
  • HB 1165 (2015): Rental registration and inspection programs. Exempts programs that apply only to rooming houses and hotels from provisions regulating local government rental registration or inspection programs.
    • House Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform: 
    • House Floor Debate and Vote: 
    • Senate Commerce & Technology Committee: 
    • Senate Floor Debate and Vote: 
  • HB 1403 (2014): Provides that the owner of a rental unit assessed any fee by a political subdivision pertaining to the rental unit may: (1) notify the tenants of the rental unit of the assessment of the fee; and (2) require the tenants of the rental unit to reimburse the owner for the payment of the fee. (Current law refers to “inspection, registration, or other fee”.) Requires fees regarding rental units and rental communities to be deposited in a dedicated fund to for reimbursement of costs actually incurred by the political subdivision relating to the imposition and amount of the fee. Restricts the circumstances and conditions in which a political subdivision may require a rental unit’s owner or landlord to obtain a permit. Allows an owner of a rental unit to obtain an exemption from a political subdivision’s inspection and inspection fee requirements if the rental unit satisfies certain requirements. Allows a political subdivision to impose a penalty for an act constituting a nuisance or ordinance violation. Allows a successful county, city, or town or a successful defendant to recover attorney’s fees incurred in a nuisance action. Provides that a political subdivision may assess an annual registration fee. Repeals superseded statutes relating to local regulation of residential landlord and tenant relations.
    • House Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform: 
    • House Floor Debate and Vote: yeas 67 and nays 28
    • Senate Local Government Committee: 
    • Senate Floor Debate and Vote: yeas 34 and nays 12
    • Update: The City of Hammond challenged this law. In 2018, the Court of Appeals ruled this law unconstitutional. See news story and ruling. In March 2019, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled on this case.

2019 Indiana General Assembly Summary (pending)
2018 Indiana General Assembly Summary

2017 Indiana General Assembly Summary
2016 Indiana General Assembly Summary
2015 Indiana General Assembly Summary
2014 Public Policy Summary
General Guidance

General Guidance: Nonprofits can lobby! In Indiana, nonprofits interested in providing testimony on specific legislation may need to register as a lobbyist with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission. You should also review this excellent resource on nonprofit lobbying put together by our colleagues at Prosperity Indiana. Please speak out in the General Assembly on bills impacting your constituents or members and provide your valuable knowledge.

 

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