HUD Issues New Fair Housing Rule


HUD recently announced adoption of a long-delayed "disparate impact" rule. The new rule adopts a standard for HUD review of administrative complaints that has been adopted by every federal appellate court to rule on the issue over the past 30 years. According to the rule, a civil rights plaintiff is permitted to challenge a facially "neutral" policy or practice that has a clear discriminatory effect on a protected class of persons--like African Americans and other racial/ethnic minorities, or people with disabilities.

Under the disparate impact standard, policies that have a discriminatory effect can be examined by the court to ensure that they serve a legitimate purpose and that no effective, less-discriminatory means of achieving that purpose is available.


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