ICRC Director issues charge against Elkhart housing providers

INDIANAPOLIS – Jamal L. Smith, in his official capacity as the Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC), issued a notice of finding and issuance of charge against Donald and Jacqueline Boyer of Reo Verde, Arizona. The charge states there is reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful discriminatory practice occurred regarding a housing property they own in Elkhart, Ind. in violation of the Indiana Fair Housing Act (Ind. Code § 22-9.5, et seq.) and the Indiana Civil Rights Law (Ind. Code § 22-9, et seq.).

While there was insufficient evidence to determine that they refused to rent a family with children, they made several discriminatory statements during the course of the investigation demonstrating a preference for applicants without children. Specifically, Respondents admitted that they preferred to rent their two-bedroom duplexes to tenants with two or fewer children of the same sex and that they have never rented to tenants with more than two children.

Simply stated, Respondents’ statements clearly show a preference for renters without children creating a disparate impact on potential tenants with children. As such, reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory practice occurred as alleged.

A public hearing is necessary to determine whether a violation of the Indiana Fair Housing Act and the Indiana Civil Rights Law occurred. As permitted by 910 IAC 2-6-6(h), Respondents, Complainant, or an aggrieved person on whose behalf the Complaint is filed may elect to have the claims asserted in a civil action under Ind. Code § 22-9.5-6-12 in lieu of an administrative proceeding.

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana.