Friday deadline: Act now to oppose HUD rule that would harm low-income and other vulnerable Americans


October 17, 2019

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently proposed a rule that would gut a long-standing civil rights protection called “disparate impact theory” under the Fair Housing Act that has offered recourse for countless people experiencing housing discrimination and segregation.

If we allow the HUD rule to take effect, millions of Americans could suffer. Friday is the deadline for submitting comments to oppose the rule. You can submit your comments here.

On Thursday, CHN submitted comments strongly opposing the rule and calling on HUD to withdraw it. You can see CHN’s comments here.

Disparate impact allows people to challenge housing policies or practices that have a discriminatory impact on them because of their race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, disability, or religion – even if the policy or practice does not overtly refer to any of these groups. (Examples: landlords prohibiting more than one person per room or playing outdoors has the impact of discriminating against families with children, even if children are not explicitly excluded.)

HUD’s proposed rule would tip the scale in favor of those accused of housing discrimination. It would drastically increase the burden of proof for victims of discrimination, and provides new defenses that could shield housing providers, governments, and corporations from being held accountable for discriminatory policies.

Unfortunately, this attack is just the start. Disparate impact theory is integral to the Fair Housing Act, but it’s also a critical part of many other civil rights laws. If the Trump administration succeeds in its rollback of this key civil rights protection, it will likely feel emboldened to gut it in other areas such as education, health care, employment, transportation, or environmental justice.

If you want to learn more about this issue, go here.

And again, here is the link for submitting brief comments (not longer than 5,000 characters). The deadline is Friday, October 18.

Housing and Homelessness