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Capitol Correspondence - 07.22.19

HUD Proposes to Amend Standard for Housing Discrimination Claims, Including Disability

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ANCOR is sharing this notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) because the discrimination standards it discusses are deeply important to the disability community. People with disabilities have more challenges accessing housing than their peers without disabilities – including because of discrimination – and it is important to maintain protections for this community. In 2018 when HUD first announced it would issue this proposal, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), of which ANCOR is a member, sent a letter to the Department asking for the standards to not be re-opened. ANCOR will be preparing input in response to this year’s NPRM and will keep members informed of opportunities to take action.

Here is a summary of the NPRM as written by HUD:

“Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended (Fair Housing Act or Act), prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings and in other housing-related activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.  HUD has long interpreted the Act to create liability for practices with an unjustified discriminatory effect, even if those practices were not motivated by discriminatory intent.  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 Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. case.”