Last week, NHRC submitted comments to the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to express its opposition to the proposed rule to  amend HUD’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act.  The summary of that proposed rule is below:

This rule proposes to amend HUD’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard to better reflect the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., and to provide clarification regarding the application of the standard to State laws governing the business of insurance. This rule follows a June 20, 2018, advance notice of proposed rulemaking, in which HUD solicited comments on the disparate impact standard set forth in HUD’s 2013 final rule, including the disparate impact rule’s burden-shifting approach, definitions, and causation standard, and whether it required amendment to align with the decision of the Supreme Court in Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

The current rule, implicitly endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court, standardized the burden shifting approach to disparate impact utilized by the courts for more than 45 years. NHRC joined hundreds of groups across the country by submitting a comment letter to the agency.

In our letter, we spoke to the negative consequences of implementing the proposed rule.

  • It would have detrimental effects to low- and moderate-, and historically disadvantaged communities still suffering from various examples of housing and banking discrimination.
  • It will undermine the efforts of countless advocates, nonprofit organizations and housing counseling agencies working around the country to ensure the financial security of millions of households.
  • Finally, it will reverse many of the advancements in racial and economic equality set into motion as a result of the passage of the Fair Housing Act by complicating the process

You may read our full letter sent to HUD on the Regulations.gov website.