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: