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Fed Policy PageThe Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center supports federal efforts to promote fair lending, increase the nation’s available housing stock, augment enforcement capacity by fair housing centers nationwide, and advance robust enforcement of laws and regulations that promote access to housing for all people, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial or marital status, or sexual orientation.

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH):

Our nation’s fair housing law was envisioned from the start as more than a remedy for individual discrimination. Its drafters intended for it to begin dismantling decades of government-sponsored housing segregation. The Fair Housing Act therefore requires that local governments receiving federal housing money take steps to affirmatively further fair housing. This duty requires states, cities, parishes, and public housing authorities that accept this funding to promote diverse, inclusive communities and overcome the negative effects of segregation. Here in New Orleans, those negative effects include the fact that children growing up in segregated, high-poverty areas have a life expectancy up to 25 years shorter than their peers in other parts of the City. Studies show that on indicators ranging from exposure to violence, mental health, and earnings, having access to high opportunity neighborhoods dramatically changes outcomes.

On July 8, 2015, the Obama Administration released new regulations designed to guide local governments in complying with this obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. The regulations include a tool to help identify areas of segregation, concentrated poverty, and other barriers to equal housing opportunity so that local governments will be able to spend federal funds overcoming those barriers. New Orleans will be part of the first cohort of local governments undergoing this new assessment and we will have the opportunity to set an example for the nation.

 

Disparate Impact Analysis:

Just because banks, landlords or other parties may not mean to discriminate doesn’t mean policies don’t negatively impact a group of people. Disparate impact analysis is an established legal doctrine, upheld by the Supreme Court, that civil rights advocates use to help enforce laws like the Fair Housing Act.  Disparate impact analysis establishes culpability or fault for a policy that is developed with little attention to, or understanding of, the potential impact on a protected group of people. Learn more about Housing and Disparate Impact Analysis here.

Learn more about the basics on Disparate Impact Analysis