WASHINGTON, DC – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) release of regulations under the Fair Housing Act to clarify “disparate impact,” a core component of civil rights law that helps establish discrimination in housing and lending against minorities, people with disabilities, and other protected classes:
“Today’s clarification by the Obama administration should finally quiet those who have sought to undermine the civil rights protections in the Fair Housing Act.
By releasing these regulations on disparate impact today, HUD is empowering municipalities across the country to enforce housing codes equally for all Americans and bolstering protections for those who face housing discrimination.
Every federal court of appeals that has considered this issue has concluded that liability under the Fair Housing Act can be established by proof of disparate impact. This doctrine, now codified, is a powerful tool to combat redlining, housing discrimination, and predatory lending.
Discrimination in housing is among the most insidious because where people live often determines their access to good jobs, the quality of their children’s schools, and the availability of health care and nutritious food.
We applaud the administration for standing with American families and protecting their right to live where they please.”
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.