ICRC finds reasonable cause in housing complaints

Indianapolis The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) announced today four significant discrimination charges brought against housing providers in Anderson, Indianapolis, Lafayette and Richmond. The ICRC asserts each housing provider violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) through policies or practices resulting in the exclusion of prospective tenants with children.

In each case, it was found that the housing provider either expressed a preference for a married couple or refused to rent to a person with children, or unreasonably limited the number of persons who could occupy a rental unit. The FHA strictly prohibits exclusion from a property because a person will reside with children under the age of 18 (including persons who are pregnant or in the process of adopting).  The FHA has, however, exempted from its familial status provision properties intended primarily for tenants 55 and older.

“State and federal courts have held that unreasonable occupancy limits have the effect of excluding families with children, and therefore, are generally prohibited under the FHA,” said Josh Brewster, Deputy Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.” Ensuring equal access to affordable housing for families with children is a priority of the ICRC.”

The FHA, enacted in 1968, ensures that Hoosiers, regardless of their race, color, religion, nationality, gender, disability or familial status are afforded equal opportunities in real estate-related transactions. Failure to comply with the FHA can result in civil penalties and punitive damages.

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. For more information on the Indiana Civil Rights Commission visit: http://www.in.gov/icrc.