WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Friday completed a Final Rule, titled Restoring HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard, to help guide implementation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

“Modern housing discrimination operates below the surface, perniciously narrowing life’s opportunities. The Biden-Harris Administration has correctly recognized that to root out discrimination, we need the strong legal tools embedded in this rule to enforce the Fair Housing Act,” said Mitria Spotser, vice president and federal policy director at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). “We applaud the Administration for issuing this rule, helping fulfill the promise of fair housing for all.”

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, and disability.

By promulgating the Restoring HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard, HUD is eliminating a 2020 Trump-era HUD rule governing Fair Housing Act disparate impact claims that would have erected unnecessary and harmful barriers to enforcement of the law. The rule issuance on Friday brings back a 2013 Obama-era HUD rule that is more consistent with caselaw on and HUD’s longstanding understanding of the statute. The 2013 rule also has stronger legal tools, such as a disparate impact standard that can be used to ferret out housing company policies and practices that – regardless of intentions – have unjustifiable discriminatory effects.

A court ruling had halted implementation of the 2020 rule, and the 2013 rule has been in effect throughout. Friday’s HUD action puts the 2013 rule back on the books.


Press Contact: Matthew Kravitz matthew.kravitz@responsiblelending.org