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Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal

Abstract

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 (“FHA”) was created to eliminate discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing, and to mandate affirmative actions be taken to develop fair housing throughout the United States. Numerous scholars and practitioners have lamented both the failure of the FHA to enforce its sections calling for government entities to affirmatively further fair housing, and the narrow interpretation of the FHA. This narrow interpretation has effectively rendered the FHA useless when a plaintiff claims that environmental ills have reduced the value and livability of homes, because these “non‐housing” claims are too far removed from the acquisition of housing. The Office of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) has set forth a Proposed Rule for assessing their compliance with section 3608 of the FHA by outlining a comprehensive data collection and reporting process. This Article suggests a benefit of the Proposed Rule left unexplored by HUD: this Proposed Rule both supports the cognizance of non‐housing cases under the FHA and will provide the statistical evidence necessary for a plaintiff to make a prima facie case.

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