1961-Fair Employment Practice Commission Limited to employment matters No enforcement ability
Areas and groups 1963- Act became law Named changed to the: Indiana Civil Rights Commission Enforcement powers: Employment, Education and Public Accommodation 1965-Housing added (enforcement area) 1971- Gender added (protected class)
1974- Credit (enforcement area) 1975- Disability (protected class) 1991- Housing enforcement changed to comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act –Coverage added for families with children under the age of 18 –Victims of housing discrimination given right elect agency or judicial enforcement of claims
Fair Housing is based on the premise that housing should be a free choice.
Indiana Code 22-9-1 States that it is the public policy of the State to provide citizens equal opportunity in the purchase or rental of a property.
All properties covered: –Commercial and residential property –Regardless of number of units owned –Includes all protected classes except familial status
Passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 1991 Prohibits illegal housing discrimination against seven protected classes Applies to virtually every area of a housing transaction Applies to both privately and publicly owned housing
Race Color Sex Religion National Origin Disability Familial Status
Disability –Physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of a persons major life activities –Has a record of such impairment –Regarded as having such an impairment
Familial Status –Children under the age of 18 living with a person (adopted, natural, foster, pregnant, or in the process of adopting or attaining custody)
ALL DWELLINGS ARE COVERED –Any building or structure intended for occupancy by one or more families. –Also includes vacant land intended for housing
Multiple family dwellingsSingle family dwellings Vacant land intended for housing
The owner owns fewer than four (4) single- family houses at one time The house was sold or rented without the use of real estate services or prohibited advertising –Applies to only one (1) sale or rental within 24 months, if owner was not most recent resident
Dwelling containing living quarters for no more than four (4) families living independently Owner maintains and occupies one of the living quarters as a residence
Religious organizations may limit sale or rental to same religion –Non-commercial transaction ONLY –May not exclude based on race, color or national origin
Strictly reserved for members of a private club Incident to clubs primary purpose Non-commercial transaction May not exclude based on race, color, national origin
Housing for older persons may exclude families with children –Housing which is intended for and solely occupied by persons 62 years and older –Housing which is intended for persons 55 and older which is 80% occupied by at least one person age 55 or older
Any aggrieved party can file a complaint –An aggrieved party is anyone who can show that they have been injured by a discriminatory housing practice. May include: –Fair Housing organizations –Testers
White tenants in a building that excluded minorities were aggrieved on the ground that the management of the housing project affected the very quality of their daily lives.
A non-live-in boyfriend was held to have standing pursuant to the Act because as a minority he was forced to discontinue his visits to his girlfriends home.
Refusal to rent/sell Misrepresenting availability Refusal to negotiate with a person Imposing different terms and/or conditions
Steering –Discouraging/encouraging prospective home buyers or tenants from selecting property because of the racial or ethnic composition of the neighborhood Blockbusting –Pressuring individuals to sell their homes because members of a protected class are moving in to their neighborhood
Redlining –Denying or imposing different terms on mortgage loans or insurance coverage because of the ethnic make-up of the neighborhood in which the property is located. Unreasonable Occupancy Limitations –Must be made upon reasonable spatial considerations as opposed to number of children
Discriminatory Advertising Intimidation and/or interference Financing Discrimination Refusal to permit reasonable accommodations or modifications for persons with disabilities
Accommodations –Landlord must allow relaxation of rules, policies and procedures if necessary to allow enjoyment of the dwelling
Modifications –Landlord must allow reasonable modifications to structure of the unit if necessary to allow enjoyment of dwelling: Widening doorway Installing ramps Installing grab bars Lowering countertops Removing carpets
Review plans for modification In some instances, require that the unit be returned to previous condition Require the person doing work to be licensed, insured and/or bonded Tenant responsible for cost of modifications (except in common areas)
Landlord may request verification of necessity for requested accommodations or modification Landlord may not request information on tenants medical condition Need not be made if causes undue burden or fundamental alteration
Applies to those built after March 13, 1991 Requirements –Non-elevator buildings must have accessible first floor units and elevator buildings must have all accessible units –Accessible means: Accessible kitchens and baths Reinforced walls in showers and bathtubs Accessible climate controls, switches and outlets
IC 22-9.5-5-2 It is unlawful to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published, any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling, that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.
Words indicative of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status. –Examples: Oriental, White, Christian, Hispanic, Handicapped, Adults, etc.
Placing ads in only specific locations based on a protected class May be permitted for: –Economic reasons –Affirmatively furthering fair housing
Preference indicated by use of models in advertising All one race or adults Different models for different neighborhoods Try to represent minorities, disabled and families with children
Use of racial or religious landmarks in giving directions to the property Advertising that references facilities associated with a particular race, religion, sex, etc. May not be intentional, but could be perceived as preferential
Recommending a particular neighborhood based on racial make-up Race should not be considered in the determination of what properties to show a client, even if the client requests While some clients may prefer to live in a racially homogenous neighborhood, the realtor may not facilitate this preference.
Co-workers (Civil Rights Law) –Employer may be liable if knowledgeable –Employer must take corrective action –May be personally liable for civil damages Tenants (Fair Housing Act) –Employee AND employer could be liable
Co-workers –Victim must inform management –Employer may be liable if no action is taken to end harassment –Harassment can create hostile work environment causing victim to resign –Severe and pervasive
Tenants –Quid pro quo: this for that –Unwelcome comments which create hostile environment –Tenant must inform management –Management must take action
Is a right to housing impacted? Did the incident occur in Indiana or is the property located in Indiana? Do any exemptions apply? –Fewer than four (4) units/properties –Religious organization –Private club Filed within one (1) year under the Indiana Fair Housing Act (IFHA). 180 days under Indiana Civil Rights Law.
Trained testers pose as prospective tenants/buyers Testers are trained by the ICRC ICRC personnel oversee actual tests Testers are unaware of reason for test Testing is valid evidence in court Tests reveal discrimination Tests reveal unfounded complaints
Gather documentary evidence Interview witnesses Conduct an on-site inspection
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) –Simultaneous with investigation –In-house ADR facilitators –Opportunity for parties to maintain some control over outcome –Evidence obtained during ADR proceeding is not available as evidence in investigation –Unique settlements may be drafted
No Reasonable Cause –Appeal within 15 days to ICRC seven- member commission –Reverse, sustain or remand for further investigation Reasonable Cause –Either party may elect to go to State Court –If neither party elects, Commission will schedule an administrative hearing
Up to $11,000.001 st offense Up to $32,500.002 nd offense within five (5) years Up to $60,000.003 rd offense within 7 years Suspension of Professional License
A tenant has a mental illness that causes hallucinations. At times the tenant hits the walls of the apartment. The Landlord wants to evict the tenant because the other renters are being disrupted and the tenants apartment is being damaged. What recourse does the landlord have? What if illegal drugs or alcohol cause the hallucinations?
A tenant has an illness that requires a home health care aide who treats the tenant, in home, on a daily basis. The tenant lives in a mobile home park and the owner wants to charge a visitor fee and additional parking fee for the health aide. The tenant has asked for a waiver of the fee. Is the park owner required to waive the fee?
A tenant has multiple sclerosis but is able to use a car. The tenant lives in a condominium that assigns parking on a first come first served basis. Tenant has requested a parking spot close to her housing unit, but the closest spot available is a block away from the tenants home. The condo association has refused to give the tenant a closer parking spot. Have the tenants rights been violated?
A tenant has applied to lease an apartment, using Social Security benefits as the sole listed source of income. The landlord refused the application and tells the tenant the he prefers tenants with jobs. Have the tenants rights been violated? Would it matter if the tenant wanted to use a Section 8 voucher?
A tenant and her guide dog have lived in the same apartment for 20 years. The tenant has developed severe arthritis and can no longer take her guide dog outside to potty. She cannot afford to hire others to take on the task and asks the apartment complex staff to take her dog outside 3 times a day. Is the landlord required to do this?
Tenant B who is 85 years old, and has lived in her apartment for 30 years has become unsteady on her feet, experiences memory lapses, and is no longer able to maintain her previously high housekeeping standards. Trash has been piling up in her apartment. She forgets to pay the rent. She left the stove on recently but no harm was done. She received a notice to vacate, based on her inability to maintain her apartment. What can she do?
Al & Peg have two children and are looking to rent a two bedroom apartment at Alpha & Omega Apartments. The manager denies their application. His reason was that the apartment is for adults only. However, Al and Peg see that there are persons living there who are in their 20s and 30s. They see no children. Can the manager deny Al & Peg because they have children under 18 yrs old?
Alpha & Omega Apartment must meet the criteria for senior housing (55+ or 62+). Otherwise the manager cannot refuse a family solely because they have children.
A homeowner circulates a petition opposing the construction of a group home for recovering alcoholics, and presents the petition to the local zoning board at a public hearing. Has the homeowner violated the Fair Housing Act?
NO- The homeowners have a constitutional right, freedom of speech, to protest. However, the Zoning Board cannot establish ordinances or codes that adversely impact any protected class.
The reasonable modification and reasonable accommodation provisions of the FHA only apply to housing discrimination based on disability. True or False?
TRUE - The Fair Housing Act (FHA )requires an accommodation or modification only for the basis of DISABILITY as defined by the FHA
Cozy, two bedroom cottage, near the St Mary Church, quiet neighborhood, ideal for empty nesters; $700 per month. Call (374) 550-6057 for an appointment Is there anything wrong with this advertisement?
YES-The advertisement implies a preference for families without children and maybe a preferred religion.
Shawn and Shay have been in a committed relationship for several years. They have searched for an apartment in Brownstown for the past three months. They have sufficient income and good credit scores but their applications have been continually denied. They believe that their applications are being denied because they are gay. Do Shawn and Shay have a fair housing complaint?
Indiana Civil Rights Commission 100 North Senate Avenue, Room N103 Indianapolis, IN 46204 Office: (317) 232-2600 Toll Free: (800) 628-2909 Hearing Impaired: (800) 743-3333 Website: http://www.in.gov/icrc