Casey, Senate Democrats Urge HUD to Reject Proposed Changes to the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact Standard

Casey, Senate Democrats Urge HUD to Reject Proposed Changes to the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact Standard

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), along with forty-five senators, sent a letter to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, urging him to reject changes proposed in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) August 19, 2019 Proposed Rulemaking: HUD’s Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact Standard (the Proposed Rule). 

“We are deeply troubled by the direction this Administration is heading in relation to Fair Lending and Fair Housing protections,” the senators wrote.  “Housing is the foundation of opportunity for individuals, families, neighborhoods, and society. Preventing housing discrimination – including subtle, hidden discrimination – is central to the mission Congress charged HUD to carry out.  We urge you to uphold this mission, reject the changes in the Proposed Rule, and preserve the existing rule.”

The Proposed Rule would effectively eliminate use of the disparate impact standard for fair housing enforcement, a key tool for rooting out and eliminating hidden discrimination.  The Proposed Rule simultaneously raises the bar for victims of discrimination to bring complaints under the Fair Housing Act, while carving out new avenues for financial institutions, governments and other housing market participants to continue discriminatory practices. With this Proposed Rule, the Administration is putting a heavy thumb on the scale for those engaged in discriminatory practices rather than defending the rights of people seeking fair and equal access to housing.

Read the letter here.

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