MBA Asks HUD to Withhold Publication of Final Disparate Impact Rule
The Mortgage Bankers Association asked HUD to withhold publication of its final disparate rule, citing “legitimate concerns” that the rule erodes protections needed to combat housing discrimination and systemic inequality.
MBA also asked HUD to bring housing, lending and civil rights communities together for renewed discussions about how to address the wide housing and wealth gaps faced by communities of color.
Over the past week, a number of industry trade groups and companies have called on HUD to postpone changes to its Disparate Impact Standard under the Fair Housing Act, including Quicken Loans, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi, who have asked HUD to reconsider the timing of its changes.
In the MBA letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, MBA President and CEO Robert Broeksmit, CMB, said while MBA appreciates that the proposed disparate impact rule was intended to provide guidance that appropriately aligns prior HUD rules with subsequent Supreme Court precedent, “we recognize that many have expressed legitimate concerns that the rule erodes protections needed to combat housing discrimination and systemic inequality. At a time when we as a nation are having important and too-long-ignored conversations about racial inequality, we believe it is appropriate to withhold publication of the final disparate impact rule.”
Instead, Broeksmit said MBA calls on HUD to “bring the housing, lending and civil rights communities together for renewed discussions about how to address the stubbornly wide housing and wealth gaps faced by communities of color that still exist – and by some measures have grown worse – more than 50 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act. Effective fair lending enforcement is an important piece of this discussion. However, history has also made clear that enforcement by itself is not enough to address the structural issues that have put homeownership and generational wealth-building beyond the reach of too many minority families and communities.”
Broeksmit noted “recent events have made clear that it is past time for our nation to address the persistence of systemic racism and the structural barriers to progress and equal opportunity for people of color. We also must acknowledge the historical fact that past policies of both industry and government have contributed to the wide gaps in wealth and homeownership experienced by minority households. As we move forward, we must be thoughtful and intentional in our approach to remedy past inequities and injustices.”
Broeksmit said the current environment is a “pivotal moment in our history” to reexamine the policies and programs that have so far failed to fully deliver on the promise of decent, affordable housing accessible to all Americans and all communities. “Now is the time to scrutinize existing programs to expand those that work and fix or discard those that do not,” he said. “Now is the time to work together to develop new approaches that leverage technology and creativity to close the minority homeownership and wealth gaps.”