While on vacation last week, I had a chance to catch up on my emails. One of the scariest emails I read was an update from the Department of Justice titled: “Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Policy Conference”
I’m going to call out the most prophetic area in the posting for you, however, if you would like to read the entire speech you can retrieve it below. Note the scariest line for lenders is “now that the Supreme Court has vindicated our position that the Fair Housing Act encompasses disparate impact claims”. I think it’s pretty clear where they are headed.
“The Department of Justice is determined – and I am personally committed – to standing beside you at every step of the way as we move forward in the pursuit of that goal and the fulfillment of that mission. I am pleased to say that we have demonstrated our dedication over the course of this Administration through the extensive and innovative work we have done to enforce the Fair Housing Act and to protect the rights it guarantees. In just the last three years, our Civil Rights Division filed more than 100 lawsuits, including 69 pattern or practice lawsuits, to combat housing and lending discrimination. Thanks to settlements reached by the Justice Department’s Housing Section, hundreds of thousands of victims of housing and lending discrimination have received more than one billion dollars in monetary relief over the last four years alone. And we have made clear – in every case and every instance – that we will never stand down in the face of injustice; we will never hold back in the fight for what is right; and we will never accept infringements on the fair and equal housing opportunities that every individual is guaranteed by law.”
She goes on further to say:
“But even as we recommit ourselves to programs that have been effective in the past, we are also exploring new ways to conduct our mission more efficiently, more effectively and in ways that account for contemporary housing trends. I am proud to say that, in the past few months alone, we have made unprecedented advances. We have drawn on new technology, cutting-edge research and evidence-based strategies to conduct testing electronically – thereby dramatically expanding the reach of the Fair Housing Testing Program at a fraction of the time and expense. And we are examining new fields and evolving industries that have not previously been subject to scrutiny to locate areas where discrimination is prevalent and to target the places where Americans are being systematically locked out, let down and left behind.
That is why I am so committed to protecting the rights and opportunities that help bring our communities together. It is why I am more determined than ever to vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act with every tool at my disposal – including challenges based on unfair and unacceptable discriminatory effects, particularly now that the Supreme Court has vindicated our position that the Fair Housing Act encompasses disparate impact claims. And it is why I am proud to support the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, which is a crucial step toward ending historic patterns of segregation and removing disparities based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. ”
If you have not downloaded your free copy of our recent White Paper on Disparate Impact and the Readiness Checklist, be sure to do so! Click Here to Download it!
To Read the Attorney General’s Speech CLICK HERE!