The following Action Alert was sent by the New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) …
On Monday August 19th, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a proposed rule that would make it nearly impossible to use a well-established legal theory to prosecute housing discrimination cases.
Disparate impact is a longstanding legal tool to fight discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity under the Fair Housing Act. It requires banks, landlords, and other housing providers to choose policies that apply fairly to all people. Some policies that seem neutral in theory can unfairly exclude certain groups of people or segregate particular communities in practice. This protection allows Fair Housing attorneys to identify and prevent harmful, inequitable, and unjustified policies, thereby ensuring that everyone can be treated fairly.
The disparate impact tool helps make housing accessible for people with disabilities, as well as families with children, women, LGBTQ people, people of faith, and communities of color. It has played a critical role in advancing civil rights and equal opportunity and addressing the segregation that still persists in America. Disparate impact is used to address disparities in rental practices, lending, property insurance, zoning, and other areas. But its impact extends far beyond housing.
The National Fair Housing Alliance and many other civil rights organizations have come together in an organized effort to save disparate impact and beat back this assault on our civil rights.
Action: Visit the website www.defendcivilrights.org to learn about the issue and leave an official comment for HUD during the 60-day public comment period, ending October 18th. In your testimony you can point out how this will strip away this crucial protection for people with disabilities.
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