Industry Cautions Against Expansion of Fair Housing Liability

Industry Cautions Against Expansion of Fair Housing Liability

Washington, D.C. – December 28, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — HUD proposed a new fair housing rule this past fall that provides guidance on “quid pro quo” and hostile environment harassment. This occurs when an individual in a protected class –relating to race, sex and disability – is subjected to unwelcome demands as a condition of their housing or when they are exposed to conduct that interferes with their ability to enjoy housing.

However, the rule sets out standards for direct and indirect liability that would apply across HUD’s fair housing actions. As a result, NMHC/NAA joined other housing organizations in cautioning HUD against the proposal because it would expand liability beyond U.S. Supreme Court precedent in this area.

We emphasized that this could subject housing providers to increased liability for the wrongful acts of third-parties acting without the provider’s knowledge. In addition, we questioned the need for regulation in this area, urging the agency to develop guidance on other fair housing issues where there is uncertainty like disparate impact.


Based in Washington, DC, National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) is a national association representing the interests of the larger and most prominent apartment firms in the U.S.  NMHC's members are the principal officers of firms engaged in all aspects of the apartment industry, including owners, developers, managers and financiers.  Nearly one-third of Americans rent their housing, and more than 14 percent live in a rental apartment.


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