Fair Housing Act & Re-Zoning
November 11, 2018 7:07 PM   Subscribe

Can the FHA be used to stop a re-zoning effort? As I read it, It has two main goals: "Ending housing discrimination", and "Promoting diverse, inclusive communities" Can these ends, or any others in the Act, leverage against efforts to rezone a poor neighborhood?
posted by ebesan to Law & Government (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, in theory. The FHA is unusual amongst federal anti-discrimination laws in that it has been held to prohibit not just acts with discriminatory intent, but acts with disparate impact upon people with protected characteristics. However, poor people are not a protected class.
posted by praemunire at 7:25 PM on November 11, 2018

How the Fair Housing Act is enforced is going to depend on the administration, what judge you're going before, who is advocating for and against the change. It's really complicated! Likewise zoning is a complicated issue and not everyone will agree that upzoning or downzoning a given neighborhood is causing it harm. There's a ton of evidence that single family zoning is a major contributor to racial segregation. At the same time building densely in poor neighborhoods where no one powerful will complain and leaving white and wealthy single family enclaves alone does seem to create disruption and displacement in those poor neighborhoods.
posted by latkes at 8:45 AM on November 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

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