State Civil Rights Commission Celebrates Fair Housing Month

A Merrillville family is billed by the landlord when children play in an outdoor common area and are fined when they file a fair housing complaint. An Anderson landlord is charged with turning off the water and evicting a white family because one tenant has an African-American boyfriend. An Indiana University student who is vision impaired and epileptic is refused dormitory housing because she has a trained service dog. The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) brings these types of cases covered under the Fair Housing Act, 43 years after it became law in April 1968. In honor of Fair Housing Month, celebrated each April, ICRC has launched a series of events statewide and a campaign themed “Fair Housing is the Law.”

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in housing transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, or familial status. Each year the ICRC and communities and organizations throughout Indiana recognize Fair Housing Month by hosting an array of activities that enhance the public’s awareness of their fair housing rights and highlight the national commitment to end housing discrimination.

"Discrimination based on how you look, the religion you practice, or because you have children or are disabled is illegal and unacceptable,” said Jamal L. Smith, Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. “In the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in April 1968, President Johnson moved for passage of the Fair Housing Act to bring the nation forward and together. Since then, we have made progress but there remains work to be done. Fair Housing is the Law.”

ICRC’s fair housing initiatives include expanding its efforts to work with local human rights agencies to reinforce and strengthen the local consortium and promote diversity to include housing opportunities when spending state and federal funds. The Commission has also partnered with Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to better utilize state resources, inform Hoosiers of the Fair Housing Act and prevent the occurrences statewide. Events held this year include:

April 8th
Fair Housing and Beyond Conference
Indianapolis, Ind.

Click here to register or call (317) 232-2651. The conference is free and open to the public. Food will be provided.

April 18th
Community Fair Housing Workshop
Terre Haute, Ind.

April 29th
Navigating the Changing Landscape in Housing, Education and Employment
Gary, Ind.

Click here for more information. The conference is free and open to the public. Food will be provided.

For more information about the Fair Housing Act, the State of Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s initiatives, or if you believe that you have been the victim of housing discrimination visit or call (800) 628-2909.

The State of Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides quality education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Communications Specialist, at (317) 232-2651.