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Indiana nonprofit will receive nearly $700,000 in federal grants to fight housing discrimination

A sign outside a housing complex reads "Now Renting."
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana is the state's only fair housing nonprofit organization.

Federal grants awarded to an Indiana organization will help fight housing discrimination.

The annual funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will ensure the only fair housing nonprofit in the state stays open.

The largest award — a three-year grant for $425,000 — will help fund the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana’s primary investigative work, looking into what Executive Director Amy Nelson said are some of the most common forms of housing discrimination.

“People with disabilities not getting reasonable accommodations or modifications, lack of accessibility; families with children being told, ‘I’m not going to rent to you because you have kids’; sexual harassment by a landlord,” Nelson said.

READ MORE: Advocates: Bad policy caused Indiana’s housing crisis

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The Indiana nonprofit will also receive a grant that only about a dozen organizations in the country receive each year. Nelson said it’s for investigations that need a higher level of technical or data work.

“These might be disparate impact-type policies or redlining or insurance where you don’t know that you’re being discriminated against,” Nelson said.

The Fair Housing Center will also receive $125,000 for education and outreach programs, including free training and seminars on housing discrimination laws.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.