Disparate Impact

The landmark Fair Housing Act of 1968 outlaws discrimination against people looking to buy or rent a home based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status—and the Supreme Court has ruled that illegal housing discrimination can occur even without intent. Under the Court’s 2015 disparate impact decision, a housing-related policy or practice can be a fair housing violation if it disproportionately affects a particular protected class and the accused entity cannot show a legitimate business necessity for the policy, or if it could have achieved that business goal with a less-discriminatory practice.