Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968)
The Fair Housing Act (and amendments) makes it illegal to discriminate in the buying, selling or renting of a home because of a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under the age of 18.
Additional Fair Housing Legislation
In addition to the Fair Housing Act, other laws related to fair housing include the following:
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Title II of the Americans with Disability Act
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975
- Equal Access to Housing in HUD programs regardless of Orientation or Gender Identity
Fair Housing Complaints & Enforcement
If you or someone you know feels discriminated against when renting, buying or selling a home due to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, familial status or a disability, you may file a complaint and receive help from the following state and federal agencies.
- HUD investigates complaints of housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, religion, age, sex, familial status or a disability. At no cost to you, HUD will investigate the complaint and try to help both parties reach an agreement. Click here for more information on Fair Housing enforcement and for the HUD Discrimination Complaint Form.
- The Indiana Civil Rights Commision (ICRC) accepts fair housing, employment, public accommodations and Title VI complaints for people in Indiana. If you feel that you have been a victim of discrimination call or click here to file a complaint electronically.
- Applicants and tenant families who believe that they have been subject to unlawful discrimination may notify the BHA either orally or in writing. For the BHA’s complaint form, click here. Your complaint may be investigated internally or may be forwarded to the ICRC or HUD for investigation and response.
Other Fair Housing Information
The BHA celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson, sign the Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, 1968 – seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Civil Rights Act of 1968, more popularly known as the “Fair Housing Act,” was intended to be a follow up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, initially, the Act was contentiously debated in Congress. The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, change the political dialogue and served to motivate bi-partisan support and passage of the Act a week later on April 11, 1968.
Though it has been the law since 1968, a significant number of people still do not know their rights under the Fair Housing Act.
In April 2018, the BHA joins other organizations across the country, like HUD, the National Fair Housing Alliance and others along with state and local agencies in celebrating the accomplishments of the past 50 years of fair housing activities and looks forward to even greater improvements in housing equality.
Click here to watch a short film “Seven Days,” an 8-minute film revisits the week that changed American history. The film explores the events that led to the passing of the Fair Housing Act, including the contentious debate and how Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination ultimately spurred government action.