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The Supreme Court’s housing decision is a warning against subtle discrimination everywhere

(WASHINGTON POST) Emily Badger — The fair-housing case that caught the Supreme Court’s attention this term turned on the specific question of how the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has allocated tax credits for affordable housing.

The formula, claimed the nonprofit suing the agency, effectively guaranteed that affordable housing in Dallas was concentrated in poor, inner-city minority neighborhoods, and was hard to find in the city’s white suburbs. As a result, the lawsuit argued, the housing agency denied low-income minorities the chance to live in neighborhoods with better schools and greater opportunity, perpetuating decades-old patterns of segregation.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that cases like this can be brought under the Fair Housing Act, even if the officials who wrote that formula didn’t intend to discriminate. The Fair Housing Act, the court reaffirmed today, prohibits not just intentional discrimination, but also policies that can have a “disparate impact” on minorities.

Source: The Supreme Court’s housing decision is a warning against subtle discrimination everywhere – The Washington Post