Housing Discrimination Case Puts High Court On Hot Seat

Public Housing Activists: CHA’s Plan To Purge 47,000 People From Wait List ‘Unacceptable’

And the high court’s decision to hear the case without a split among federal appeals courts has led civil rights groups to worry that its conservative majority is ready to rule against them. “It would really cut the legs out of fair housing enforcement,” says Joseph Rich, director of the fair housing project at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Proving intentional racial bias is more difficult, he says, because “discrimination is pretty subtle these days.” Andrew Sandler, chairman of BuckleySandler, a law firm representing the financial services industry, says real discrimination still would be punished if the high court did away with disparate impact claims. The problem now, he says, is that bankers don’t make loans that could benefit all sorts of borrowers when they risk being accused of favoring whites over minorities. “Innovation is being stifled because of fear that underwriting criteria based on making it easier to make loans for people could have a disparate impact,” Sandler says.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/08/supreme-court-housing-discrimination-civil-rights/2735317/

WRAPUP 1-Canada housing prices bounce higher but no crash seen

Toronto and Calgary, Canada’s oil capital, led the way for price hikes. But prices dropped in five of the 11 markets surveyed across the country, which Pinsonneault said was hardly evidence of overheating. “We don’t see the market having a collapse similar to the one they had in the U.S.,” he said. The housing market has been a focal point for Canadian policymakers since a boom that followed the 2008-09 recession.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/12/canada-economy-housing-idUSL2N0H80NB20130912?feedType=RSS

SUPREME COURT

I am stunned by CHAs decision to strip so many people permanently off the list and to deprive them of a chance for affordable housing, Mary Nelson, who is homeless and currently on the wait list, said before CHAs public hearing Wednesday evening regarding the draft plan. The overall MTW plan is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments (HUD) MTW demonstration program , which gives public housing authorities the flexibility to come up with and test various approaches to providing quality, affordable housing for low-income families. In a statement provided to Progress Illinois, CHA said itinitiated a wait list update, following HUD guidelines, from December 2012 through February 2013 to allow the agency to house people faster and more efficiently provide public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers to tens of thousands of low-income residents. As a best practice for wait list management, public housing authorities must regularly update wait lists to have an accurate representation of those in need and those who are interested, the statement reads. About 47,000 wait list applicants failed to respond to repeated requests for updated information, either by mail, email or phone calls. They were subsequently removed from the wait list. But Nelson and the dozens of others who gathered before Wednesdays meeting said many of the people waiting for public housing have challenges finding a permanent place to live, and they simply move too many times to keep their current addresses on file. We need the CHA to provide an automatic right to be reinstated on the wait list up to three years for anyone who has been purged from the waiting list who later contacts the CHA, Nelson demanded.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2013/09/12/public-housing-activists-call-chas-plan-purge-47000-people-wait-list-u

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