Senate Democrats Raise Concerns about Proposed Changes to HUD Disparate Impact Rule

Led by Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), 46 Senate Democrats sent a letter today to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, expressing their deep concerns about the agency’s proposed changes to the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact standard.

The Disparate Impact rule codified a longstanding tool for identifying and remedying housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, and the administration’s proposed changes make it far more difficult for people experiencing various forms of discrimination to challenge the practices of businesses, governments, and other large entities. As proposed, the current three-part “burden shifting” standard to show disparate impact would be radically changed to a five-component set of tests placing virtually all of the burden on people in “protected classes” as defined by the Fair Housing Act – people of color, women, immigrants, families with children, people with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and people of faith – who challenge discriminatory practices.

“Preventing housing discrimination – including subtle, hidden discrimination – is central to the mission Congress charged HUD to carry out,” the letter states. “We urge you to uphold this mission, reject the changes in the Proposed Rule, and preserve the existing rule.”

Read the letter at: