BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Friday joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general opposing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed changes to its Disparate Impact Rule.
While the current rule protects against housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status, the proposed changes would create uncertainty and make it harder for states to ensure equal housing opportunities for all Americans, the attorneys general allege.
“For decades, the Fair Housing Act has been the most important tool in the toolbox to root out and prevent discrimination in housing,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Weakening the Act is wrong and will disproportionately impact women and minorities.”
The coalition submitted comments arguing that the proposed rule changes have substantial defects. They say the changes would ignore the Supreme Court’s binding interpretation of the Fair Housing Act and drastically exceed HUD’s authority by altering judicial procedures. The changes would also provide more immunity to lending and insurance companies at the expense of consumers, making it more likely that claims with merit will be dismissed.
In addition to Maryland, the letter was signed by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.