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U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Welcomes the Supreme Court Ruling on Disparate Impact in the Fair Housing Act

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights applauds the U.S. Supreme Court on its decision preserving the protections afforded under the Fair Housing Act against housing discrimination, ensuring that all Americans have equal protection under the law.

In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., the Court upheld the lower court decision which allows for disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act in instances where restrictive zoning laws and other housing restrictions may exclude minorities from certain neighborhoods without justification.

The Commission's work on fair housing includes "Fair Housing in Tennessee" (http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/TNFairHousingReport.pdf) which found inadequate federal oversight and enforcement by the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and "Fair Housing Enforcement in Kentucky" (http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/KYFairHous.pdf) which found substantial housing discrimination against minorities in Kentucky and estimated that less than one percent of all violations are reported or even detected, and that minorities often did not know that the Fair Housing law could protect them from discrimination.  The report recommended that local enforcement agencies expand their reach and join with other agencies to provide economies of scale.

Chairman Castro states, "While de jure housing discrimination may be a thing of the past, de facto segregation still exists in America for many minorities. Today's Supreme Court ruling allowing for a disparate impact analysis under the Fair Housing Act will allow us to move forward to hopefully and finally eradicate housing discrimination from our nation."

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing a federal civil rights enforcement report. For information about Commission's reports and meetings, visit http://www.usccr.gov.      

Contact: Lenore Ostrowsky

SOURCE U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

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