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WASHINGTON – "This new rule reaffirms the vitality of the discriminatory effects standard under the Fair Housing Act, which has been one of the most powerful tools of civil rights enforcement for decades," said Dennis D. Parker, Director of ACLU's Racial Justice Program. "Discrimination today often takes subtle forms, and the HUD rule ensures that people will be able to battle discrimination."
View the HUD announcement here.
ACLU and Housing Discrimination
Last fall, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Manhattan to hold Morgan Stanley accountable for its collaboration with the subprime lender New Century, which supplied Morgan Stanley with a steady stream of irresponsible, high-risk loans issued in communities of color that were particularly vulnerable to economic ruin. For more information on this case (Adkins et al. v. Morgan Stanley), see here.
The ACLU Women's Rights Project has also been a leader in using disparate impact claims to address housing discrimination against survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Landlords often blame victims for the abuse occurring at the property, and evict them and their children. Because the majority of domestic violence victims are women, these practices have a discriminatory effect based on gender and violate the Fair Housing Act. For more, see here.
Last fall, ACLU issued a report called Justice Foreclosed that looked at how Wall Street's demand for loans encouraged predatory lending in communities of color; how that in turn fueled the housing crisis, and how the bust will continue to affect these communities for years, if not generations, to come.