Statement on Texas Department Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc
June 25, 2015
While TDHCA would have preferred a ruling from the Supreme Court that the Fair Housing Act did not support the novel cause of action brought by the plaintiff (non-intentional race discrimination by a housing authority), we are fully prepared to return to the trial court to make our case that there has, in fact, been no actionable disparate impact discrimination by TDHCA under the clarified standards set out by the Court in their opinion. TDHCA remains committed to its mission of providing affordable housing options to low-income Texans, and as Justice Kennedy stated in the Court’s opinion in today’s ruling, “[t]his case, on remand, may be seen simply as an attempt to second-guess which of two reasonable approaches a housing authority should follow in the sound exercise of its discretion in allocating tax credits for low-income housing . . . The litigation at issue here provides an example. From the standpoint of determining advantage or disadvantage to racial minorities, it seems difficult to say as a general matter that a decision to build low-income housing in a blighted inner-city neighborhood instead of a suburb is discriminatory, or vice versa.”
Mindful of today’s Supreme Court decision, TDHCA will continue to develop and refine the 2016 Qualified Allocation Plan – the rules governing the award of low income housing tax credits – in a manner that complies with the letter and spirit of the law, permits private parties to make rational, nondiscriminatory business decisions, and furthers the priorities established and re-examined by the Texas Legislature each session and approved by the Governor.
TDHCA Executive Director
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For more information, please contact Gordon Anderson at (512) 475-4743.