The Fight for Housing Justice campaign and the Defend Civil Rights campaign have each provided new materials to help advocates write and submit comments against HUD’s extremely harmful proposed revisions to the Disparate Impact rule. NLIHC and the two campaigns urge advocates to submit comments and to individualize them so HUD has to explain its reasons for attempting to gravely weaken the Disparate Impact rule as a fair housing enforcement tool. Comments are due October 18.
HUD has proposed radical changes to the 2013 Disparate Impact rule that would make it virtually impossible for people in the Fair Housing Act’s “protected classes” to bring charges of disparate impact against housing providers, governments, or businesses (see Memo, 8/19). Disparate impact theory enables people to show that a housing policy or practice had a discriminatory impact on them because of their race, sex, national origin, disability, or other protected class characteristic even if the policy appears on its face to apply to everyone equally.
Fight for Housing Justice Campaign
The Fight for Housing Justice campaign continues to update its website. The campaign modified its general advocate comment letter and added fact sheets explaining how the proposed rule harms domestic violence survivors and jeopardizes fair chance housing opportunities for people with arrest and conviction records. The campaign is also scheduling a “Day of Action” to #FightforHousingJustice on October 10.
The Fight for Housing Justice website now also has a sample comment letter focused on the impact on survivors of gender-based violence as well as background to help commenters write about that topic (provided by the ACLU Women’s Rights Project). Slides from the campaign’s September 26 “Office Hours” are also on the website. The website already had general tips for making comments, talking points for commenters, a portal for individuals to write and send simple comments, and a one-pager, “How You Can Stop HUD from Harming Immigrants’ Fair Housing Rights.”
As part of the Day of Action on October 10, the campaign is encouraging advocates to help generate many unique comments by engaging their networks, holding commenting parties, and enabling people with limited access to the internet to have an opportunity to share their opposition. The Day of Action webpage urges people to raise awareness with co-workers, friends, and family. It also has suggestions for hosting a commenting party, complete with sample party invitation text, social media messages, and a video.
The Fight for Housing Justice campaign is comprised of the National Housing Law Project, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and the Shriver Center on Poverty and Law.
The Fight for Housing Justice campaign’s updated general advocate sample comment letter is at: https://bit.ly/2kUjXNf
The Fight for Housing Justice campaign’s website is at: https://www.fightforhousingjustice.org
Defend Civil Rights Campaign
The Defend Civil Rights campaign has court-case background material pertaining to five protected classes, as well as one general and four sector-specific sample comment letters. The court case materials cover legal cases impacting African Americans, Latinxs, families with children, people with disabilities, and women. In addition to the general sample comment letter, there are sample comment letters related to gender-based violence, education, transportation, and fair housing. These materials are not available at defendcivilrights.org but here:
- Fair Housing for African Americans is at: https://bit.ly/2mHXV14
- Fair Housing for Latinxs is at: https://bit.ly/2p9h3pJ
- Fair Housing for families with children is at: https://bit.ly/2nouDoJ
- Fair Housing for people with disabilities is at: https://bit.ly/2omzMxm
- Fair Housing for women is at: https://bit.ly/2okmJMW
- General sample comment letter is at: https://bit.ly/30Mor7s
- Gender-based sample comment letter is at: https://bit.ly/2OfDx2M
- Education-oriented sample comment letter is at: https://bit.ly/2MdKOxc
- Fair housing-oriented sample comment letter is at: https://bit.ly/2oc1HR8
- Transportation-oriented sample comment letter is at: https://bit.ly/2Ikyk5P
The Defend Civil Rights campaign is comprised of seven civil rights organizations, led by the National Fair Housing Alliance. The Defend Civil Rights campaign website is at: https://www.defendcivilrights.org
National Low Income Housing Coalition
An easy-to-read version of the proposed rule is at: https://bit.ly/2yxRy2F
The formal Federal Register version of the proposed rule is at: https://bit.ly/2ZalOvj
More about disparate impact is on page 7-8 of NLIHC’s 2019 Advocates’ Guide.