Federal Court Stops HUD’s New ‘Disparate Impact’ Rule

A federal judge in Massachusetts has issued a preliminary injunction stopping the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from implementing a new rule that would have established a higher threshold for bringing housing discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act. The new rule would have gone into effect Monday.

Last month, on Sept. 4, HUD finalized a new rule for its implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s “disparate impact” standard. The 2013 Obama-era disparate impact rule was meant to prevent discrimination against protected classes under policies that appear neutral on their face but nonetheless have a disproportionately adverse effect on minorities or perpetuate segregation without justification, regardless of their intent.

A slew of housing and civil rights groups slammed the new rule as an attack on the Fair Housing Act. On Sept. 28, fair housing organizations Massachusetts Fair Housing Center and Housing Works Inc. filed a lawsuit against

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Lawsuit Challenges HUD’s Rollback Of Key Fair Housing Rule

A coalition of fair housing advocates has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over the recent reversal of long-standing fair housing protections. 

The suit challenges HUD’s new disparate impact rule, which would make it more difficult for victims of discrimination to fight against systemic racism and discriminatory policies by housing providers, financial institutions and insurance companies that deprive people of the opportunities and services they need. 

The Trump administration rewrote the 2013 disparate impact rule adopted by the Obama administration, which included the standard approach to claims using this civil rights enforcement tool. 

Fair housing advocates say the rule has been in place for almost 50 years to tackle structural barriers that unfairly lock people out of the housing and lending opportunities they deserve.

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Texas GLO to take control of Houston’s Harvey housing recovery funds with HUD’s approval

The Texas General Land Office will take control of Houston’s Hurricane Harvey housing recovery program after receiving approval from federal officials, even as a lawsuit challenging the takeover remains pending.



George P. Bush et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: George P. Bush, commissioner of the General Land Office arrives to discuss long-term Hurricane Harvey recovery funds during a news conference at the Houston City Hall Annex on Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Houston. The recovery efforts include the first round of funding for buyouts through CDBG-DR funds.( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )


© Brett Coomer, Staff / Houston Chronicle

George P. Bush, commissioner of the General Land Office arrives to discuss long-term Hurricane Harvey recovery funds during a news conference at the Houston City Hall Annex on Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Houston. The recovery efforts include the first round of funding for buyouts through CDBG-DR funds.( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )


The green light from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials came late Monday, 45 days after the Texas Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that had blocked Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s agency from performing recovery work in Houston. State officials had said the ruling allowed them to move ahead with the takeover by seeking approval

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