The federal Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing on the basis of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, or the presence of children. Indiana state law also protects ancestry. Local ordinances may include additional protections.
If you think you have experienced discrimination in your housing experience, it’s important to document your complaint.
- Jot down names or descriptions of people you talked to.
- Keep a copy of the ad.
- Keep a list of witnesses.
Below are some options at the local and federal levels to help you if you believe you have experienced housing discrimination:
- Indiana Civil Rights Commission
- U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Indiana Civil Rights Commission
To file a complaint, call, write or visit the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) within 365 days of the date in which the alleged act of discrimination occurred and describe the situation you feel was discriminatory. An experienced Intake Specialist will listen, advise and assist you accordingly. Once your complaint is processed, you will be advised of your rights and responsibilities.
The on-line form is for submitting an inquiry to the ICRC. Complaints must be filed either by personal delivery, mail or fax. If you encounter problems working with the on-line form you might be better served to call The Commission at 1-800-628-2909.
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
HUD is ready to help with any problem of housing discrimination. If you think your rights have been violated, contact the HUD Office nearest you for a Housing Discrimination Complain Form. You have one year after an alleged violation to file a complaint with HUD, but you should file it as soon as possible.
Step 1: What to Tell HUD:
- Your name and address
- The name and address of the person your complaint is against (the respondent)
- The address or other identification to the housing involved
- A short description to the alleged violation (the event that caused you to believe your rights were violated)
- The date(s) to the alleged violation
Step 2: Where to Write or Call:
Send the Housing Discrimination Complaint Form or a letter to the HUD Office nearest you or you may call that office directly.
If You Have a Disability:
HUD also provides:
- A toll-free TTY phone for the hearing impaired: 1-800-927-9275.
- Tapes and braille materials
- Assistance in reading and completing forms
Photo credit: Lucas Farve