10/18/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/18/2019 17:42
Carson City, NV - Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general opposing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) proposed changes to its Disparate Impact Rule. While the current rule protects against discriminatory housing and lending practices that have the effect of harming individuals based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status, the proposed changes would create uncertainty and make it harder for states to ensure equal housing opportunities for all Americans.
'Every American deserves equal access to safe and decent housing,' said AG Ford. 'The Trump Administration is trying to weaken the Fair Housing Act, which is a critical tool my office and other law enforcement use to combat discrimination. I'm taking a stand on behalf of all Nevadans against these discriminatory practices.'
The attorneys general submitted comments arguing that the proposed rule changes have substantial defects. The changes ignore the Supreme Court's binding interpretation of the Fair Housing Act and drastically exceed HUD's authority by altering judicial procedures. The changes also provide more immunity to lending and insurance companies at the expense of consumers, making it more likely that claims with merit will be unnecessarily dismissed.
The attorneys general have wide-ranging experience in using disparate impact liability to enforce fair housing laws, combat housing discrimination, and ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to obtain housing. States have regularly challenged housing policies that have a discriminatory effect, including zoning ordinances, mortgage lending discrimination, and English-only policies. Many times, these policies disproportionately hurt minority residents and vulnerable populations, such as domestic violence victims.
In addition to Nevada, attorneys general from the following states and territory participated in today's issued comments: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
A copy of the comments letter is attached.