The Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.) prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings and in other housing-related activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is statutorily charged with the authority and responsibility for interpreting and enforcing the Fair Housing Act and with the power to make rules implementing the Act. The Act does not specify a standard for proving a discriminatory effect (i.e., disparate impact) violation. Notwithstanding this statutory omission, HUD and the eleven federal appellate courts that have ruled on this issue agree that practices with unjustified discriminatory effects violate the Act, although there is some minor variation in the application of the discriminatory effect standard.

Complete Memorandum