There has rightfully been a great deal of attention on last Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court on marriage equality. But last week’s Supreme Court actions also included other important decisions, one of which affects those seeking a place to live and the right to do so under the Fair Housing Act.
On Thursday, June 25 2015, the FHA and HUD official site was updated to include a press statement from HUD about the court’s decision in a Texas housing discrimination case:
“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed an important legal principle in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. The Justices found that the Fair Housing Act not only prohibits intentional acts of discrimination, but also housing practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect.”
Furthermore, the press release states, “In preserving the discriminatory effects standard also known as ‘disparate impact’ the Court today upheld four decades of judicial precedent from 11 appellate courts across the country.”
HUD Secretary Julian Castro issued astatement in response to the ruling by the Supreme Court, saying the decision is an important affirmation of many decades worth of lower court actions. “Today is another important step in the long march toward fulfilling one of our nations founding ideals: equal opportunity for all Americans.”
He adds, “The Supreme Court has made it clear that HUD can continue to use this critical tool to eliminate the unfair barriers that have deferred and derailed too many dreams. Working with our partners on the ground, we will continue to do all we can to build a housing market that treats all Americans with basic dignity and respect.”
There have been decisive efforts by the government to codify what is considered discriminatory practices. Two years ago, the press release states, “HUD formalized the discriminatory effects standard through a rule-making process. Since the 1970s, courts have consistently recognized that policies and practices that unnecessarily limit housing opportunities or otherwise perpetuate segregation because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status violate the Fair Housing Act.”
HUD aggressively investigates housing discrimination cases. If you feel your Fair Housing Act rights have been violated, contact the FHA/HUD as soon as possible by calling (800)669-9777.
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