(NEW YORK) – The city of New York is actively perpetuating segregation in violation of the Fair Housing Act, at points relying on the Trump Administration’s regressive 2020 Disparate Impact rule to justify its discriminatory policy, a proposed amicus brief filed today by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the law firm of Gilbert LLP claims.
A motion to leave to file the brief was filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and supports the plaintiffs in Noel v. City of New York, which was filed in 2015. Thomas Silverstein, an attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement:
“The Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard is a critical barricade against structural racism in housing. Black and Latinx households already experience intense racial segregation in New York City, and New York City’s community preference policy exacerbates that reality. The City is playing right into the Trump administration’s egregious attack on the housing choices of communities of color, and the court should reject arguments that would seriously undermine critical civil rights protections.”
In September, HUD published its new Disparate Impact rule, which undermines the ability of victims of discrimination to prevail when they challenge policies that perpetuate housing segregation. Civil rights groups have brought multiple lawsuits against the new rule, asserting it eviscerates the Fair Housing Act’s standards for discriminatory effects claims. The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has issued a preliminary injunction barring the implementation of the new rule. New York City itself already has a discriminatory system, which requires that 50% of subsidized housing units in a community must be set aside for people who already live there, insulating affluent white neighborhoods from residential integration.
Read the full brief here
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.