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:
- City of Bloomington
- Monroe County
- Indiana Civil Rights Commission
- U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
City of Bloomington
In addition to the protections under the federal Fair Housing Act described above, additional protected classes in the City of Bloomington include sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, familial status or housing status.
If you feel you have been discriminated against in housing on the basis of any of these protected classes, or if you have questions about your rights and responsibilities under fair housing laws, please contact the Bloomington Human Rights Commission at 812 349-3429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While you have 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a complaint, the earlier you file, the more effective the investigation will be.
Bloomington also protects your right to rent an apartment or house that complies with the Bloomington Housing Code. If you have questions about your rights under the Code, or if you want to file a complaint about the condition of your rental space, click here for more information.
For additional Fair Housing information from the federal government, click here.
In addition to the protections under the federal Fair Housing Act described above, additional protected classes in Monroe County include sexual orientation, gender identity, or familial status.
For more information, or to file a complaint regarding alleged discrimination that occurred outside the City limits but within Monroe County, please contact:
Monroe County Human Rights Commission
100 West Kirkwood Ave, Room 220
Bloomington, IN 47404
Telephone: (812) 349-2525
Fax: (812) 349-2982
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