Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, issued the following statement after Ben Carson, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the department’s final rule on the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act.
“The Trump Administration has been relentless in its attacks on the Fair Housing Act, a law that prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, and familial status. In the Trump Administration’s latest shameful move, Secretary Carson has finalized a rule to weaken the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act.
“The disparate impact standard allows victims of housing discrimination to seek justice in the courts by putting a stop to practices that appear neutral on their face, but that have the impact of discriminating against protected classes of people. Disparate impact claims have been critical to holding industry and private actors accountable for the discriminatory impacts of their policies and practices. This move by the Trump Administration to weaken fair housing is turning back the clock on decades of progress and 45 years of jurisprudence. The new rule shifts the burden of proof from the perpetrators of discrimination onto the victim, making it significantly more difficult for victims of housing discrimination to prevail in court and ultimately making it easier for discriminatory policies and practices to plague our housing markets.
“As millions take to the streets against racial injustice across the country, the Trump Administration has chosen to enable systemic racism and housing discrimination in our country. Now is the time for the highest levels of government to denounce acts of hate and racism in the United States. I am calling on Secretary Carson and the Trump Administration to immediately rescind this rule.”