Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Rights § 1983
  • Date Filed: October 2, 2014
  • Case #: 13-1371
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court Below: 747 F.3d 275 (5th Cir. 2014)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether disparate-impact claims are allowed under the Fair Housing Act

Respondent, a non-profit organization that assists primarily low-income African-American families eligible for housing assistance through the Dallas Housing Authority’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, locates housing in primarily Caucasian neighborhoods. Respondent filed suit against Petitioner claiming that Petitioner’s allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) eligible housing units were disproportionally assigned. Respondent claimed Petitioner had approved LIHTC eligible units in primarily African-American communities and disapproved LIHTC eligible units in primarily Caucasian communities.

The trial court found that Petitioner could not prove that additional criterion used by Petitioner in allocating LIHTC eligible housing units were valid. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that disparate impact claims could be brought under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and also adopted the burden of proof proscribed by 24 CFR § 100.500 which was promulgated by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development in March 2013. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to answer the question whether disparate-impact claims allowed under the FHA. Petitioner argues that the courts are split and the issue is far reaching.

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