Supreme Court Welcomes Housing Discrimination Suits

Posted on: July 15, 2015 by Newmark Insurance

Unintentional actions in relation to housing bias are being recognized as grounds for a lawsuit, according to the Supreme Court. The Fair Housing Act defeated the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in a close 5-4 vote in determining that “disparate impact” on minorities is, in fact, discriminatory. While this decision unfolds, it is important to obtain Austin Mortgage Broker Professional Liability insurance.

A “disparate impact” occurs when a racial group, whether racially motivated or not, is affected by real estate practices. McClatchy DC gives the example of a mortgage lender creating borrowing guidelines based on net worth and income, which can cause some racial groups to be less likely to qualify for those loans.

Although many groups including the Texas Apartment Association and the National Association of Home Builders attempted to limit the legal exposure these cases would receive, seventeen states have been openly supportive of the lawsuits.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, along with the Supreme Court’s four other justices, stated that these lawsuits can help to uncover intent of discrimination and combat both intentional and unintentional prejudices. He also stated “Much progress remains to be made in our nation’s continuing struggle against racial isolation and the decision acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the nation toward a more integrated society.”

To assist with the fair housing incentive, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs began offering tax credits to developers to promote the construction of affordable rental housing throughout the state.  What’s more, these credits have accounted for 92.9 percent of Dallas tax credits, proving that discrimination is a common issue in housing statewide.

At NewMark Insurance Services, we strive to protect your mortgage lending business from the scope of potential risk exposures it could endure. We stay current on industry trends to provide your firm with comprehensive coverage to protect your business, your assets, and your property. To learn more, contact us today at (855) 777-6549.

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