Capitol Correspondence - 10.28.19

ANCOR Joins Letter Opposing Proposed Changes to Housing Discrimination Claims Process

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As part of our coalition work with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), ANCOR joined a group letter opposing a proposal by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to change standards for how housing discrimination claims are assessed. This is an important issue for people with disabilities, who face housing shortages at higher rates than their peers without disabilities.

While the letter linked above lays out the disability community’s concerns more fully, a key concern is that: “The proposed revisions in §100.500 will drastically increase the burden of bringing a case to address prohibited discrimination for the plaintiff. In the proposed rule, the current burden-shifting standard is replaced with a five-part component set of tests, placing nearly all of the burden on the people who are intended to be protected from discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. For example, people experiencing discrimination may be asked to essentially identify the justifications the defendant will raise and address them. A plaintiff may be required to prove by the preponderance of evidence that ‘a less discriminatory policy or practice would serve the interest in an equally effective manner without imposing materially greater costs on, or creating other material burdens for, the defendant.’ The proposed rule not only sets a much higher bar for a person experiencing discrimination to meet, but one based on information that only the entity with the discriminatory policy may have.”

ANCOR will keep members informed of developments with the proposed changes.