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Study: Marion County has 'significant' levels of housing discrimination

Study: Marion County has 'significant' levels of housing discrimination
Posted at 8:19 AM, Apr 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-05 08:19:12-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- There is currently "significant" housing discrimination in Marion County, according to a recent study. 

The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana conducted an audit to measure how much rental discrimination exists in Marion County, and to what extent.

The audit consisted of 45 fair housing tests, mostly focusing on racial and disability discrimination.

In areas that are predominately Caucasian, qualified African Americans encountered discrimination 76 percent of the time. If a person needed an animal to deal with a disability, they encountered discrimination 15 percent of the time, according to the study.

The study also found that people of color were told incomplete or untrue information, and that white testers were told of lower deposits, fees, or rent. In not a single test did a person of color receive more favorable treatment, the study found. 

It is illegal to discriminate housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, ancestry, or familial status.

“Fair housing has been the law of the land for half a century, but this testing audit shows significant levels of discrimination continue,” said Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. “The results are very similar to a testing audit we conducted in 2013. The need for affordable, accessible and safe housing remains a significant housing impediment for many Hoosiers who have the additional barrier of being subjected to unfair and unlawful treatment in their search for housing.” 

MORE | Click here to read the full study

The funding for the study was provided by the City of Indianapolis. The study was performed from November 2016-May 2017.

The report comes 50 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who is largely responsible for the Fair Housing Act of 1968. After King's death, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson sped up their work to pass the law. The act was amended in 1974 to include gender, then again in 1988 to include families with children and people with disabilities.

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