NCRC Submits Comment Supporting HUD’s Proposed Disparate Impact Rule

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) today submitted a comment letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), applauding HUD for its proposed rule setting the standard for bringing disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act. In the comment letter, NCRC also urged HUD to offer guidance to the lending and insurance industries on the proper use of predictive technologies in underwriting, particularly with regard to artificial intelligence, machine learning and alternative data.

Thirty-five state and local groups signed on in support of NCRC’s comment.

Jesse Van Tol, President & CEO of NCRC, made the following statement:

“NCRC supports HUD’s proposed reinstatement of the 2013 Disparate Impact Rule and commends the agency for its commitment to the use of a standard fully supported by decades of federal case law.

“Disparate impact is an essential tool for enforcing the Fair Housing Act. Without it, there would be no way to challenge policies that have discriminatory effects on members of protected classes. 

“In 2013, HUD set forth a straightforward disparate impact rule, balancing the rights of plaintiffs to file claims challenging discriminatory housing policies and practices while at the same time providing defendants a legitimate opportunity to defend themselves. The finalization of that rule was a huge step forward for fair housing enforcement. As a result of that rule, many housing providers’ unfair policies and practices have been discontinued because of their discriminatory effects on groups like people of color, women and people living with disabilities.

“HUD proposed a new disparate impact rule in 2020 that made it effectively impossible for plaintiffs to bring disparate impact claims. Fortunately, that rule was blocked judicially, and the 2013 standard remains in place.

“By recodifying the language of the 2013 rule, HUD is sending a strong message to housing providers that policies with discriminatory effects are unacceptable.”

View the full comment letter at:

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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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