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MDCR Director John E. Johnson, Jr. Issues Statement in Support of Reinstating Federal Fair Housing Rule
August 25, 2021
LANSING, MI -- John E. Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, has issued the following statement in support of efforts by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and attorneys general from 22 other states to urge the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reinstate a rule that helps protect people from housing discrimination.
"The Michigan Department of Civil Rights supports the 23 attorneys general, including Michigan AG Dana Nessel, who are urging the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reinstate and strengthen the disparate liability rule in the Fair Housing Act - a rule that is instrumental in protecting people from housing discrimination. We are optimistic that HUD's recent proposal to restore the 2013 discriminatory effects rule signals their intention to strengthen protections against housing discrimination - protections that are sorely needed in today's social and economic climate. A study on mortgage lending reported in today's Detroit News shows that Blacks in metro Detroit are denied mortgages at twice the rate of other homebuyers, even when they have similar financial characteristics. In the wake of COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout from the pandemic, it is especially important that we have tools in place to fight housing discrimination and the negative impact it has on an individual's ability to find safe, affordable housing and the opportunity to build the kind of generational wealth that only homeownership provides."
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.