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Events Look At Impact of Fair Housing Ruling in Louisville

housing
Affordable housing got a boost in this year's city spending plan.

Housing, legal and data experts will be on hand for two events next week aimed at examining the impact a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year will have on fair housing in Louisville.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people affected by discriminatory housing practices can sue even if the bias wasn’t intended. The ruling stemmed from a 2008 case involving the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and The Inclusive Communities Project.

Carolyn Miller-Cooper, executive director of the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission, called the ruling “a very important decision" that could affect fair housing practices in Louisville.

The ruling will require the housing sector to examine “everything we do in a fair housing lens,” Miller-Cooper told WFPL in June.

Miller-Cooper will be joined at the two forums by, among others, Cathy Hinko, executive director of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition.

Hinko said the forum would put focus on an important issue that was overshadowed by the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, which was handed down the same week.

"We wanted to bring this very important decision into high relief and have all sorts of organizations in government and quasi-government to start to use this lens," she said.

The opinion issued by the high court presents several points that make Louisville vulnerable to a disparate-impact claim regarding fair housing, Hinko said.

"We may have some liability," she said.

For example, geography matters: Where low-income people live can be entwined with racial segregation through statistics, she said. Lending practices, the granting of mortgages and zoning policies will also going to be up for scrutiny as a result of the court’s decision, Hinko said.

"We're trying to raise those questions so that everybody starts looking at it that way," she said. "And making sure that we are proactive to correct any, even inadvertent, lack of compliance with fair housing."

The forums aims to give a legal overview of the rulings and the demographic insight into Louisville's current status. Residents also will get information on how to be alert to policies that can have a disparate impact on certain groups of people when it comes to fair housing.

In the Supreme Court case, the nonprofit Inclusive Communities Project sued a Texas agency, arguing it allocated tax credits to low-income housing developers in a racially segregated manner. The group accused the state agency of disproportionately granting housing credits in minority areas of Dallas and denying credits in white areas of the city, according to a SCOTUSblog analysis.

Event One: Oct. 26, U of L law school RM 175, 4:15-6 p.m.

Moderator: Christie McCravy , Louisville Urban League, Director of Housing Programs

Panelists:


  • Carolyn Miller Cooper , Executive Director, Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission
  • Matthew Ruther, University of Louisville Kentucky State Data Center ,
  • Tony Arnold, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law Professor
  • Cathy Hinko, Executive Director, Metropolitan Housing Coalition

 

Event Two: Oct. 27, Main Public Library Centennial Rm, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Moderator: Kevin Dunlap, Louisville Urban League, Director REBOUND

Panelists:


  • Carolyn Miller Cooper
  • Lauren Heberle, University of Louisville, Director, Center for Environmental Policy and Management
  • Shelton McElroy
  • Cathy Hinko
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Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.
Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.