Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Texas Disparate Impact Case
On Oct. 2, the Supreme Court announced its decision to take up the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) v. Inclusive Communities Project case, which focuses on whether TDHCA violated the Fair Housing Act by disproportionately awarding Housing Credits to developers building properties in areas with high minority concentrations.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against TDHCA on the basis of disparate impact. Disparate impact, which originated in reference to employment policies and practice, is the legal theory that prohibits practices that have an adverse impact on members of a protected class, even if there is no intentional discrimination.
TDHCA is appealing the ruling that orders the agency to change the way it distributes housing resources so that they are spread more uniformly across neighborhoods of various racial makeup. This is the third time that the Court has taken up the issue of disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act; however, the two previous cases were settled prior to oral arguments.