3/20/2023 in News & Media, Press Releases

The National Fair Housing Alliance Applauds HUD for Reinstating Key Fair Housing Rule to Advance Justice and Fairness for All


March 20, 2023 

Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | iwoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org

Washington, D.C. — Today, Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), issued the following statement praising HUD’s move to reinstate a critical fair housing regulation:

“NFHA applauds the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for restoring critical civil rights protections for millions of people and safeguarding fairness in housing and financial services. The Restoring HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard Rule (Final Rule) rescinds HUD’s 2020 rule governing Fair Housing Act disparate impact claims and restores the 2013 discriminatory effects rule. Disparate impact functions to eliminate policies that wrongly keep people from obtaining safe housing and accessing opportunities and services like homeowners’ insurance, mortgage loans, and fair appraisals. Discriminatory policies and practices make it more difficult for survivors of domestic violence, families with children, and returning veterans to obtain or keep housing. They also undermine our shared interest in ensuring that housing and financial services opportunities are available to every individual, regardless of their personal characteristics.

“The Final Rule reinstates the disparate impact standard promulgated by HUD in 2013 and reinforces the criteria established by the Supreme Court in the 2015 Inclusive Communities decision. It also codifies long standing judicial and federal agency consensus regarding discriminatory effects law.

“Confirming that disparate impact liability exists under the Fair Housing Act, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, ‘Much progress remains to be made in our Nation’s continuing struggle against racial isolation. . .  The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the Nation toward a more integrated society.’ Disparate impact is needed now more than ever to serve as a beacon of opportunity and combat algorithmic bias, appraisal discrimination, redlining, and other discriminatory practices and policies. HUD’s new Final Rule serves as an indispensable tool in this ‘struggle’ to achieve a just society where housing and financial services markets are free from discrimination.

“In taking this action, HUD heeded the feedback from technology experts; top mortgage lenders; and other industry leaders, including the Business Roundtable; as well as civil rights advocates, who asked the Trump administration to re-think and pause its plans to go forward with putting the 2020 Rule in place. The Trump administration’s Disparate Impact Standard Rule would have made it effectively impossible for people to challenge housing and financial services policies that might seem neutral on their face but in fact have an unfair and discriminatory impact on certain groups, like people with disabilities, families with children, women, or Native Americans. HUD’s action ensures that everyone has a fair shot at the opportunities we all need to live successful lives and carries us forward on the road to justice and fairness for all.”

The Final Rule on Restoring HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard is available here: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/FHEO/documents/6251-F-02_Discriminatory_Effects_Final_Rule_3-17-23.pdf


The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.