Disparate impact is the irrational Progressive-Civil Rights idea that only impact should be considered in all things and Obama is unleashing it on housing. Disparate impact is an insidious legal concept that is no friend to Capitalism. This entire effort is a small part of Obama’s re-engineering of neighborhoods throughout the nation.
Legal challenges to disparate impact have found that the concept can be one factor but not the sole factor. Barack Obama, looking at a future leftist Supreme Court is making it the sole factor. He will fine landlords but will the statists move to stealing property as punishment?
The Obama administration is warning landlords that they may be discriminating by not renting or selling homes to criminals. He is making criminals into a protected class because many are minorities. It’s now racism to not rent or sell a home to someone with a criminal record.
Obama’s Fair Housing Act doesn’t yet specify criminals are a protected class, but they are moving in that direction. HUD has a rule saying not renting or selling to criminals is a form of racial discrimination because there are more minorities in prison.
On November 2, President Barack Obama announced new actions to promote the rehabilitation and reintegration for formerly-incarcerated inmates. The Administration’s criminal justice reform efforts included new pilot efforts dedicated to housing people coming out of prison. Along with that, came new HUD rules making it difficult to not rent to criminals.
“The Fair Housing Act prohibits both intentional housing discrimination and housing practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect because of race, national origin, or other protected characteristics,” say HUD’s newly-released guidelines. “Because of widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African-Americans and Hispanics. While the Act does not prohibit housing providers from appropriately considering criminal history information when making housing decisions, arbitrary and overbroad criminal history-related bans are likely to lack a legally sufficient justification.”
The guidance urges PHAs (Public Housing Authorities) and owners to exercise discretion before making such a decision and to consider all relevant circumstances, including the seriousness of the crime and the effect an eviction of an entire household would have on family members not involved in the criminal activity. In decisions about household members with criminal records for drug use, PHAs and property owners are encouraged to consider whether the person is attending or has successfully completed a drug rehabilitation program or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully.
Additionally, the guidance reminds PHAs and property owners of the due process rights of tenants and applicants applying for housing assistance. Federal law requires that PHAs provide public housing and Section 8 applicants with notification about, and the opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of, any criminal record before the PHA or owner denies admission or assistance.
What exactly does that mean? It means that landlords will feel compelled to rent to criminals, who we at the Sentinel are defining as people with criminal records, because any criminal who sues will have a serious advantage under Progressives.
It also means we can turn all housing into The Projects.
People who have paid their dues and don’t have a mile long rap sheet shouldn’t be confused with hardened criminals but landlords should not have to decide which criminals they are not allowed to deny an apartment to because the first lawsuit in which the anti-American ACLU represents the criminal, a landlord will be hit with a large fine and mandated to do it. That’s how this goes.
Private renters should be allowed to rent to whomever they want but not in the Obamahood where his new rules are intended to put Section 8 in wealthy neighborhoods and criminals everywhere.