It’s A Bipartisan Goal To Preserve Equality In Housing

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The Fair Housing Act was adopted in 1968 as a legacy to Dr. Martin Luther King


Finding bipartisan areas of agreement is a rare feat in Washington. Yet, for over four decades, both Republican and Democratic administrations have agreed on the importance of the 1968 Fair Housing Act as a critical tool for addressing widespread residential segregation and discrimination in housing. We have seen this first hand.

As two former Department of Justice officials we had the honor of leading fair housing and other civil rights enforcement for the Nixon, Ford and Bush I administrations. We understand how essential it remains to ensure that all Americans regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status are treated equally.

On January 21, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case called Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project.  The case will test our nation’s commitment to equal treatment under the law.   It raises the question of whether claims of unjustified disparate impact – a key method of enforcing the Fair Housing Act -- will continue to be recognized and be available to ensure that landlords, and other housing providers, as well as local governments and banks, choose policies that apply fairly to all persons.

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