Facially Neutral Bylaws/Rules/Regs May Subject an Association to Liability Under the Fair Housing Act

On June 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Texas Dep’t of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, __ US __ (2015), a decision that affects community associations throughout the country, including in Michigan. In a surprise to many court observers, the Supreme Court endorsed the disparate impact theory of liability under the federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq., (the “Act”), as opposed to the stricter standard of disparate treatment. Under a disparate impact theory, a plaintiff does not have to prove discriminatory intent. This is in contrast to a disparate treatment theory of liability, under which liability depends on whether a protected trait “actually motivated” the decision being challenged.     Read the article………..