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.”