NCRC applauds preliminary injunction to postpone effective date of HUD’s disparate impact Rule

Today, the United States District Court of Massachusetts found in favor of the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center and Housing Works, Inc. and issued a preliminary injunction to postpone the start date of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new disparate impact rule, which had been finalized by the agency in September.

Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, made the following statement:

“We are happy to see the court stop HUD’s destructive disparate impact rule change. This is a first step toward what we hope will be a permanent injunction that will force the government to take discrimination more seriously.

“The Trump Administration repeatedly attacked the Fair Housing Act during 2020, the same year the nation faced an unprecedented global pandemic that made it even more vital for people to have safe and affordable homes. 

“HUD has effectively made it impossible to meet the disparate impact standard in fair housing cases, something that no one asked them to do. In addition to the advocacy community, major banks and real estate institutions came out against HUD’s final rule, but the agency ignored them too. The court’s initial decision supports our concern that the new rule was an arbitrary and improper act.

“In this time of pandemic, economic crisis and national protests against racism, making it easier for businesses to discriminate is unfathomable.”

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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