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Capitol Correspondence - 11.03.20

Court Blocks HUD Rule That Would Have Made It Harder to File Housing Discrimination Claims

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As an update on this September article regarding the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) disparate impact rule, we are sharing this Politico article about the rule, which HUD finalized this fall. Earlier this year, ANCOR joined with coalition partners to issue public comments opposing the proposal because we believe it would further disadvantage people with disabilities, who already face greater challenges obtaining housing than their peers without disabilities.

As reported by Politico:

“A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction to stop the Department of Housing and Urban Development from implementing a rule that would have made it harder to bring discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act.

The rule, set to take effect Monday, would have required plaintiffs to meet a higher threshold to prove unintentional discrimination, known as disparate impact. The new rule — an update to the agency’s 2013 disparate impact rule — would also have given defendants more leeway to rebut the claims.

[…]

In granting the preliminary nationwide injunction, Mastroianni wrote that the plaintiffs — the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center and Housing Works — ‘have shown a substantial likelihood of success on the merits’ of their claim that the new rule is “arbitrary and capricious” and violates the Administrative Procedure Act.

The injunction means HUD will be unable to implement the new rule until the legal challenge is resolved.”

Our coalition partners on the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities’ Housing Task Force have noted that the rule faces additional legal challenges in California and Connecticut.