By a 231-195 vote, the House yesterday passed an amendment to a government spending bill that would prevent the use of disparate impact analysis by the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Fair Housing Act. Following the vote on the amendment, the overall spending bill for housing and transportation agencies was approved.
The amendment was offered by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and was strongly supported by ABA and a coalition of housing groups. The House recently approved a similar Garrett-sponsored amendment attached to a government funding bill for the Justice Department.
“Our member companies use facially neutral standards, such as loan-to-value ratios and debt-to-income ratios in mortgage underwriting and for resident screening purposes because they are neutral and nondiscriminatory,” ABA and the other groups said. “Under HUD’s rule, a lender, apartment owner, apartment manager or housing cooperative could be challenged if these practices yield different results for a protected class, and also face severe reputational harm and significant costs of defense.”