As part of a fair housing education campaign supported by a multi-year settlement agreement that Relman Colfax helped to negotiate with First Merchants Bank, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) has released a thought-provoking short video titled History of Redlining—Indianapolis, IN. In less than six minutes, the FHCCI surveys the history of redlining, restrictive covenants and predatory “land contracts” in the country’s 17th largest city. The film, which is suitable for audiences of all ages, is part of the FHCCI’s effort to educate the public about historical roots of present-day segregation, and inequitable access to public and private amenities.
In addition to the First Merchants matter, Relman Colfax is also proud to represent the FHCCI in a ground-breaking housing discrimination lawsuit against Rainbow Realty Group for operating a predatory rent-to-own housing program reminiscent of last century’s “land contract” schemes. As alleged in the complaint, Rainbow targets African American and Latino home seekers who cannot qualify for conventional financing and offers them high-interest installment contracts that seldom actually result in homeownership. In late March, a federal court certified the matter as a class action, which means that as many as 3,000 families will be able to seek damages for Rainbow’s violations of the Fair Housing Act and consumer protection laws.