Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, protects the right to fair housing for all people and prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and handicap (disability). The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers and enforces the Fair Housing Act. In recent years, HUD has reported a record number of housing discrimination complaints for the nation. There are both positive and negative aspects to the increase in complaints. An increased number of complaints indicates more people are aware of the right to fair housing choice and are willing to take action to protect that right. Conversely, the record number of complaints serves as a reminder that housing discrimination remains prevalent.
The act prevents the following activities based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin:
- Refusal to rent or sell a property;
- Refusal to negotiate on housing;
- Refusal to make housing available;
- Denial of housing;
- Setting different terms, provisions or conditions for the sale or rental of the housing;
- Providing different housing services or facilities;
- Persuading a person to sell their home or rent their home by suggesting a certain race has moved into the community;
- Denial of a person access to membership or participation in an organization, facility or service on the basis or related to the sale or rental of housing;
- Refusal to provide a mortgage;
- Refusal to provide information on mortgages;
- Imposing different terms for mortgages;
- Appraising property differently;
- Refusal to purchase a loan or mortgage;
- Intimidation or interference with anyone exercising fair housing or assisting others with fair housing;
- Refusal to provide homeowners insurance;
- Providing different insurance rates or terms related to insurance;
- Refusal to provide all terms of homeowners insurance or all information regarding available insurance;
- Making or printing any information regarding the sale or rental of housing, including mortgage and insurance information that indicates a preference or limitation to one of the protected classes.
Within Hamilton County there are a number of governmental levels in which each have its own plans and ordinances for development. While each focuses on its own particular context, they share the recognition of the need for affordable housing with equality of access to protected populations.
The Hamilton County Commissioners and the Noblesville Housing Authority have developed general priorities and goals to offer flexibility in programming for all communities to address their specific needs. These goals are listed as follows;
- Expand the supply of safe, decent affordable housing.
- Support programs that help the most vulnerable households achieve self-sufficiency.
- Invest in public facilities and public infrastructure needs of low-income neighborhoods.
- Improve institutional structure and coordination among providers across the County.