U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of broad interpretability of Fair Housing Act
- The 5-4 ruling allows for lawsuits to be filed claiming “disparate impact” of housing policies and practices on minorities–a statistical measure–rather than simply explicit discrimination, which can be difficult to prove as organizations and individuals are rarely obvious in their discriminatory practices.
- The case involved an organization that supports integrated housing, often involving lower-income minority families attempting to use housing vouchers to move to the suburbs; the group claimed that because a disproportionate number of the low-income tax credits that require that landlords accept the vouchers had been given to landlords in minority neighborhoods, the practice was making it difficult for families to move to white-majority suburbs.
- However, the ruling did not go so far as to say such practices would be proven to generate disparate impact, only that “disparate impact” was a justifiable legal claim.
“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.”
Read the full story at the New York Times.