The August 19, 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seeks to revise the existing Fair Housing Act standard for redressing systemic housing discrimination. Unfortunately, HUD’s proposal gives the upper hand to those defending potentially discriminatory housing practices and essentially creates a safe harbor or exemption from disparate impact liability for the entire lending industry. We explain why and also point out a few reasons why we do not expect HUD’s proposal to survive legal challenge. If the proposal does survive and goes into effect, however, we anticipate it will worsen the current homeownership and racial wealth gaps.
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