WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance, made the following statement today in response to the City of St. Paul's withdrawal of its fair housing case from the U.S. Supreme Court:
"The National Fair Housing Alliance is proud to stand in solidarity with the City of Saint Paul today. We congratulate the City on its thoughtful leadership decision to remove its appeal in Magner v. Gallagher due to the potentially catastrophic, unintended consequences of a case challenging the 'disparate impact' theory under the Fair Housing Act.
"The Fair Housing Act has a dual mission: to eliminate housing discrimination and to promote diverse, inclusive communities. As such, the law covers both intentional discrimination as well as policies that have a discriminatory impact, even if they may appear neutral. Disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act are critical to addressing systemic housing discrimination and segregation in the United States.
"Civil rights advocates and the U.S. government have utilized disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act for over 40 years to help address mortgage lending and insurance redlining practices, and discriminatory zoning ordinances. Disparate impact has proven to be an invaluable tool in protecting the housing rights of all people.
"The City's decision will keep this vital part of the law viable for future generations."
About the National Fair Housing Alliance (www.nationalfairhousing.org)
Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the National Fair Housing Alliance is a consortium of more than 220 private, non-profit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals from throughout the United States. Through comprehensive education, advocacy and enforcement programs, NFHA protects and promotes residential integration and equal access to apartments, houses, mortgage loans and insurance policies for all residents of the nation.
SOURCE National Fair Housing Alliance