HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s New Plan Would Make It Harder to Prove Housing Discrimination

Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is run by Ben Carson—aka the Clarence Thomas of the Trump administration—is finishing off Carson’s mission of completely destroying the department before he leaves his post in 2020.

According to the Wall Street Journal, HUD released a new proposal on Monday that will effectively end an Obama-era policy aimed at stopping housing discrimination, because that makes perfect sense when the country is run by a racist and the man in charge of fair-housing policies is black man who called Popeyes the “Popeyes organization.”

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From WSJ:

Under a new plan published Monday in the Federal Register, HUD would raise the burden of proof they must meet to bring a claim, making it harder for civil-rights groups and others to pursue housing discrimination cases.

At issue is a longstanding legal precedent that allows plaintiffs to pursue claims based on statistical evidence that a lender or developer’s policies have a “disparate impact” on minorities, rather than proof of explicit bias.

The Obama administration in 2013 set out guidelines for bringing such cases against mortgage lenders, developers and home insurers alleging that their policies disadvantage minorities.

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When asked about the changes, Carson noted that he was just here so he doesn’t get fined.

“I don’t even know what day it is,” Carson said. “I literally just got out of bed, ate a cup full of Crunchy Oats, and yes Crunchy Oats are fake Cheerios, and drove down here to talk to y’all. I don’t even know what is going on,” said Carson, who didn’t say any of this.

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Under the new plan, which is part of Trump’s master plan to undo forever President Obama’s legacy, defendants would now only have to prove that they had a “reasonable business objective for their policies” and defendants would literally be forced to “clear a five-part test to bring a fair-housing case—including evidence that the allegedly discriminatory practice is ‘arbitrary, artificial and unnecessary,’” WSJ reports.

“The disparate-impact concept is a nebulous and complex doctrine that, using statistics, could be used to challenge many, many actions,” Paul Compton HUD’s general counsel, said in a call with reporters, WSJ reports. “The goal here is to bring more certainty into this area of the law so that state and local governments, mortgage lenders, fair housing advocates, everybody can understand what disparate impact is.”

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Curbed breaks down what the changes will mean:

Under the current Disparate Impact rule, the plaintiff, or the party making the accusation of discrimination, has to prove that a policy is causing a discriminatory effect. Then the defendant has to prove that the policy is necessary for legitimate, nondiscriminatory results. The burden then shifts back to the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s interests could be achieved with a policy or practice that is less discriminatory.

Under HUD’s proposed rule, this three-step process is scrapped for a five-step burden of proof that falls almost entirely on the plaintiff, who would have to show that the policy: is “arbitrary, artificial, and unnecessary;” has a “robust casual link” with disparate impact on a protected class; causes a “significant” adverse effect on members of a protected class; is directly linked to the disparate impact in the plaintiff’s “alleged injury.”

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Fitting, considering that the racist-in-chief is a real estate developer who was sued for housing discrimination. The point of all these changes, if it’s not clear, is to make it damn near impossible for a person to charge housing discrimination.

HUD’s plan “basically is saying that you have to prove your entire case when you file it. This is unheard of,” Lisa Rice, president and chief executive of the National Fair Housing Alliance, told the WSJ. “This is just another attempt by the Trump administration to take away yet another civil-rights protection.”

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Because Trump only believes in racism when it is claimed by groups like Proud Boys and khaki-wearing, tiki torch-carrying white men, this isn’t the first time that he’s eliminated provisions based on statistics and race. After data showed that minority students were disciplined more harshly than their peers, Obama’s administration implemented provisions to discourage this practice.

Yep, Trump lifted that, too.

In short, the Trump administration only believes in racism against white nationalists who very rarely have trouble with housing; also, never trust a black neurosurgeon who spent years in Baltimore and calls Popeyes an “organization.”

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.