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Effects Matter: Disparate Impact Standard for Fair Housing Ratified
Fair housing advocates celebrated a major milestone last month when HUD issued final regulations ratifying that "disparate impact analysis" can in fact be used to assess compliance with the federal Fair Housing Act.
There are still some in the housing industry who state outright that they will not rent, sell, or lend to certain groups of people. But these days, the barriers that people face in their search for housing more often are rooted in policies or practices that may appear neutral on their face, but disproportionately harm families, people of color, people with disabilities, etc. Such policies, when they are allowed to stand unchallenged, affect us all.
Under HUD’s new rule, such policies and practices can be challenged with statistics showing a disparate impact or by otherwise showing that they cause or would predictably cause a disproportionately harmful impact on members of a class that is protected under the Fair Housing Act.
Take, for example, the infamous “blood relative” ordinance adopted by St. Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina.
The ordinance required owners of single family properties in the Parish to get special permission from the Parish before they could rent those homes to someone other than a blood relative. Some 93 percent of the residents of St. Bernard Parish are white. Until the blood relative ordinance was challenged by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and overturned by the court, this policy effectively barred access to people of color.
Similarly, Yorktown, New York’s “local preference” policy meant that first dibs on affordable rental housing in that predominantly white community in Westchester County went to people who already lived there, limiting access for people of color who came from other parts of the county or region. This policy was also overturned after the Fair Housing Justice Center challenged it in court.
A number of lending discrimination cases brought by the US Department of Justice in the last few years have relied on the disparate impact doctrine. The defendants included some of the country’s largest lenders, such as Wells Fargo and Countrywide, as well as smaller and mid-sized lenders like SunTrust, Prime Lending and GFI Mortgage Bankers. In each of these cases, the lender engaged in policies or practices that led to borrowers of color, most frequently African-American and Latino borrowers, paying higher costs than similarly situated white borrowers. In some of the cases, the companies also steered borrowers of color into risky, high priced subprime loans while providing comparable white borrowers with less risky, less expensive prime mortgages.
Or look at the case recently settled by HUD, overturning a Virginia landlord’s policy of not providing rental applications to prospective tenants who couldn’t communicate effectively in English, even if they brought their own translator into the rental office. Nor could prospective tenants take rental applications home to get help with translation. This policy was very effective in keeping out immigrants from non-English speaking countries or others with limited proficiency in English.
Then there are the landlords who refuse to consider income from any source other than a full-time job. That policy slams the door in the face of people with disabilities, whose income would sufficient to cover the rent, but comes in whole or in part from disability payments. As more veterans come home with disabling injuries from our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, such policies harm more and more of us.
Land use policies that exclude multi-family housing, rental policies that limit the number of people per room and exclude families with children, lending policies that discount income earned by women on maternity leave or require them to prove they’ll return to work after the birth of their children – there are many, many examples of policies and practices that prevent particular groups of people from living in the communities of their choice, and prevent other residents in those communities from enjoying the benefits of diversity.
On More Solid Footing
It is just these types of policies and practices that the disparate impact doctrine is designed to dismantle. Under the regulations, the company (landlord, lender, real estate agency, etc.) or jurisdiction using the contested policy then has the opportunity to show that it is tied to a substantial, legitimate, non-discriminatory interest. If it can demonstrate that, the burden shifts back to the complainant or plaintiff to show that the legitimate interest can be served through another effective means that is less discriminatory in its impact. Readers who are interested in more detail about the new rule can find it here, or look out for an article by Scott Chang, of the civil rights law firm Relman, Dane and Colfax in an upcoming issue of the Housing Law Bulletin.
The disparate impact doctrine is not new. It has been in use for decades and has been upheld by all 11 US Courts of Appeal that have considered its validity. It has also come under attack from some in the industry who would rather not take the time to make sure their policies and practices do not disadvantage particular groups of people. (See Greg Squires on "4 Ways Critics of the Disparate Impact Doctrine Have Got It Wrong.") HUD, by issuing the regulation, has taken an important step to protect and preserve disparate impact as a tool for expanding access to housing.
We all know that where you live has an enormous impact on your success in life: your access to education, jobs, transportation, health care, recreation, healthy food, and even your life expectancy. The idea that everyone should get a fair shake is a basic American value, and it means that what you look like, where you come from, what religion you observe or whether you have children should not determine where you can live. Diverse, thriving communities are a source of strength for our country as the world becomes increasingly interconnected. Barriers that restrict access and housing choice based on race, religion, national origin, family status, disability or any of the other factors protected under the Fair Housing Act undermine that strength and our shared prosperity. In enacting the disparate impact rules, HUD has taken a critically important, common sense step to help guarantee that prosperity.
All of us in the affordable housing, community development and civil rights fields who are trying to expand housing choice should celebrate HUD’s action in issuing a final rule. Perhaps the best way to celebrate is to put this rule to work whenever we encounter discriminatory policies or practices that unfairly limit access to housing opportunities.
Forbes Announces Key Outcomes to National Defense From Final Conference Report for FY 2013 Defense Policy Bill
Rejects BRAC, Protects Navy Cruisers and Strengthens Virginia’s Shipbuilding Industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and conferee for the National Defense Authoirzation Act for Fiscal Year 2013, announced the following key outcomes effecting national defense included in the conference report accompanying H.R. 4310.
“This year’s defense authorization bill not only ensures that our nation’s military is ready, but it makes key investments to maintain its future success,” said Congressman Forbes. “Despite an Administration that is dedicated to dismantling our Armed Services through budget cuts, base closings and pink slips, this bill works to maintain the strong national defense that every American deserves.”
· Includes provisions to encourage the development and promulgation of a set of Modeling and Simulation Grand Challenges for the research community that would enhance interagency coordination.
· Authorizes a 1.7% pay increase and extends bonuses and special pay for our men and woman in uniform.
Congressman Forbes has been appointed Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee for the 113th Congress.
About the Annual National Defense Policy Bill
The annual national defense policy bill, or National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, authorizes the enactment of appropriations for DoD programs and initiatives while setting forth priorities, organizational structure, and responsibilities of program and agency officials. The bill consists of portions, or marks, written and approved by each Subcommittee. The full Armed Services Committee considered the legislation, including proposed amendments, and voted to report the bill for consideration before the House of Representatives. Upon passage, the bill will be sent to the Senate. Typically after the Senate passes its version of the legislation, Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees conference to reconcile differences and agree upon a final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which will be sent to the President for his signature.
The region’s widely celebrated Spanish radio station, La Selecta 1050 AM
WVXX, is a recipient of this years Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award from
SunTrust Bank. Locally owned under Hindlin Broadcasting, LLC, La Selecta will be
recognized for their efforts in promoting and furthering the ideals and practices
of diversity and inclusion within the greater Hampton Roads Community. Like La
Selecta, SunTrust Banks are dedicated to serving and reaching out to the diverse
segments of the community and have received many acknowledgements in the
areas of community outreach and human rights, making this bestowed award a
truly satisfying and welcome recognition for the radio station.
Since 2005, WVXX General Manager and owner, Andy Hindlin, has
worked to build and grow the area’s only mainstream Spanish speaking radio
station to inform, entertain and service the Hispanic population(s) of our very
own 757. “We try to be a total arm to the Hispanic community,” said Hindlin in
an article written by the Virginian Pilot on July 22, 2009.
“Our Latin audience is among the most loyal, supportive and enthusiastic of any large market listenership in the state, if not anywhere. Creating an electric
medium to reach them in Hampton Roads has been an important mission, and
an absolute pleasure.”
On the air for 7 years, WVXX-AM has introduced and hosted many events
and opportunities for Hispanic families and business including their annual Latino
Job Fair, Latin 4th of July Celebration and the hugely popular Latin Fest and
Zumba marathon held on the Virginia Beach Ocean Front, which SunTrust Banks
sponsored in 2011. Another major event, an annual Radio-thon for St. Jude
Children’s Research Hospital, has allowed Selecta to raise over $455,000 in
donations for the worthy cause since first radio-thon in 2007.
The station’s acclaimed morning program “Hasta El Tope con Ricardo
Alegria y La Gringa” has come to be known and loved as a fun, helpful way for
listeners to learn important English phrases and even practice on air with their
favorite DJ’s. The upbeat show was recently the first and only Spanish language
radio segment in Virginia to be recognized by the Virginia Association of
Broadcasters and nominated for a VAB award. On June 22, 2012 Hindlin
Broadcasting, LLC WVXX-AM was honored at the 75th Annual VAB Awards
Program as 2nd place winner of the “Best Public Service/Community Event” for
Located and operated out of Downtown Norfolk, WVXX-AM Selecta 1050
covers southeastern Virginia, the Eastern Shore of Virginia and northeastern
North Carolina. Its format is contemporary Spanish and Latino music, along with
public service, informational programming and local and international news, all
delivered on air by 4 beloved Hispanic DJ’s from 4 different Latin countries.
Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Elects New Board Members
HAMPTON ROADS - July 31, 2012 – Founding members of the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and current board members met at One of a Kind Landscapes and Home Remodeling in Yorktown to account for available ‘Board of Directors' seats and elect new board members to the chamber.
May 10 & 15, 2012 – The Nominating Committee for the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce met to interview prospective board members that were nominated for potential positions. The long process, in accordance with the chamber’s “By-Laws”, was held in Virginia Beach and Newport News.
Nominating Committee Chair and former HRHCC President Al Guerra of Kelvin International Corporation went thru due process in counting available board of director seats being vacated. Former members Gaby Rengifo of One of a Kind Landscape and Home Remodeling, Hugo Valverde of Valverde and Powell, P.C. , now former President Carlos Espinoza of Silverchair Information Systems, and administrator/Business After Hours Director Gloria Day, vacated their board member seats.
After establishing a necessary quorum earlier, Mr. Guerra began the motion of electing the new members including new President Olga Torres of Taína Consulting, Vice President, Southside Jaime Barón of Bryant and Stratton College, Financial Counsel Guisela Torres of ABNB, Education Director Madeline Diaz of Wells Fargo Bank, and Media/Internet Coordinator Sergio Sanchez of Grillo’s Photography. New board members are expected to occupy their seat for three years, or one term, and may serve for no more than two consecutive terms.
Continuing on the board will be Al Guerra of Kelvin International Corporation, Vice President, Peninsula Andres Arellano Garrido of Farmers Insurance, and Carlos Tricoche of Network Designs. Founding members in attendance included Jazmin Davidson., Gaby Rengifo, Alejandra Lee, Awilda Rivera, and Gloria Day. The founding members commented on the growth of the chamber in its nearly 10th years of existence.
The newly appointed and continuing board members met August 15, 2012 in Hampton to discuss previous, current, and new business. Some events on the horizon include “Nuestra Feria 2013”, new local business events, upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month events, networking events such as business after/before hours, and next year's Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 10th Anniversary. This is a very exciting time for the HRHCC Board members as the Hispanic population continues to grow.
HRHCC is the principal resource and advocate for the joint promotion of Hispanic Businesses, Consumers and Organizations, and since 2003 has served as the gateway to the Hampton Roads Hispanic market. For more information on HRHCC visit http://www.hrhcc.org.
Phone: (757) 348-9969 / (757) 202-4204
For the first time in the Virginia Broadcasting Awards’ 75-year history, a Spanish-language station has captured honors. La Selecta 1050 WVXX radio, based in Norfolk, won second place in the “Best Public Service” category in the large-market division of the competition, which is held each year by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters to recognize outstanding achievement by radio and television stations statewide. Never before has a Hispanic broadcasting outlet earned an award in the program.
La Selecta won for “Aprendiendo Inglés con La Gringa / Learning English with La Gringa,” a Monday-through-Friday morning segment that teaches listeners English phrases. It is taught by co-host La Gringa, a non-Hispanic who learned Spanish as an adult and works alongside morning show host Ricardo Alegria.
“La Selecta should take great pride in winning this award because it demonstrates excellence in what radio does best, which is serving its community,” said Virginia Association of Broadcasters executive director Douglas Easter. “This honor demonstrates that as the Hispanic population in Virginia has grown, La Selecta is committed to providing true service to its listeners.”
The number of Hispanics in Hampton Roads nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, according to the United States Census. Statewide, the demographic rose by 92 percent during that time. Hampton Roads is home to about 2,300 Hispanic-owned businesses, according to a 2007 study.
Olga Torres serves on the board of directors for the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “This prestigious award represents the growing impact and presence of the Hispanic culture within the greater Hampton Roads community, and we are extremely proud of this achievement as it is an historic event,” she said. “As a an active member of the local Hispanic community, I truly value La Selecta’s programming because it encompasses entertainment, education, news and the opportunity for local and national companies and organizations to reach their listeners.”
La Selecta 1050 WVXX began broadcasting in 2005, offering a mix of Spanish-language news, information and music. The station’s signal is 1050 AM and it streams live from wwww.selecta1050.com. Its studios are located at 700 Monticello Ave., Norfolk.
“We are very proud to win in the Virginia Broadcasting Awards and to be the first-ever Spanish-language station honored,” said Andy Hindlin, president and owner of Hindlin Broadcasting, which owns and operates La Selecta 1050 WVXX. “From our start, we have been dedicated to serving as a listener resource and excellent corporate citizen both within the Hispanic community and the entire Hampton Roads community.”
The award-winning feature, “Aprendiendo Inglés con La Gringa / Learning English with La Gringa,” was launched in response to audience request.
“The station had been receiving many calls from listeners asking that it help the community by offering English lessons on the air,” said La Gringa. “The segment is designed to assist our audience succeed in their daily lives by teaching phrases useful at work and in the greater community. Many listeners have told us the lessons have helped them immensely.”
The Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and its members congratulate Radio Selecta 1050 am and their staff on this great honor and wish them the very best in the future. We want to thank them for all their support to our non-profit organization, we love you all.
Greitcha Quinones - A Su Preferencia Familiar Services de Funerarias y Cremaciones
www.PreferenciaFamiliar.com (757) 353-0520 (Virginia Beach)
Anthony Rivera – Edible Arrangements (757) 422-4126 (Virginia Beach)
Elaine M Arrieta – Arrieta Construction, Inc. (757) 968-5051 (Lackey)
Lorena Justin – Lorena’s Boutique (757) 283-4013 (Newport News)
Willow House - Cyndi Warwick http://cyndiwarwick.willowhouse.com
Poncier Lynch Inc. - Poncier Lynch www.poncier.com
Bowditch Ford - Kirsten Peterson www.bowditchford.com
Vanessa Torres - FBI Community Outreach Specialist
Integrated Administration Solutions, LLC - Misty Leinberger www.integratedadminsolutions.com
1st Advantage Federal Credit Union - Rosie Velasques www.1stadvantage.org
Bryant & Stratton College would like to continue to show support for Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area by partnering with the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to offer the 2012 HRHCC President's Scholarship. The scholarship is available to HRHCC members and their families. You can apply online.
The initiative would allow
spouses, parents or children of US citizens who have been illegally in the
country to legalize their status without the wait abroad.
Valverde & Rowell, P.C.
3500 Virginia Beach Blvd, Suite 110
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
La iniciativa permitiría a cónyuges, padres e hijos de ciudadanos
de EE.UU. que están ilegalmente en el país legalizar su situación sin tener que
esperar un perdón en el extranjero.
Fl, 08/01/2012 -. El Servicio de Inmigración (USCIS) anunció un Aviso de
Intención de cambiar su proceso de no iniciar el examen de perdón para
inmigrantes ilegales que están en los EE.UU. y deben viajar a su país natal a
esperar dicha acción. Eduardo Soto, presidente de Cómo un Inmigrar EE.UU.,
el grupo de profesionales de la inmigración, declaró: "este es un gran
paso adelante en un campo en el que la Administración Obama ha hecho muy
poco", dijo el abogado de inmigración en Miami.
Para más información o
para verificar su elegibilidad:
y el plazo final para completar las solicitudes es el 10 de Enero del 2012. Pueden aplicar a estas becas individuos que tengan un título universitario de cuatro años con especialidad en campos relacionados con Ciencias, Tecnología, Ingeniería o Matemáticas.
Para información más detallada por favor visite: EducaWW.org y también puede contactar a Silvia Echeverría (609) 277-3007 o email@example.com
For its leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion in the Hampton Roads Area
Diversity is a given in our daily lives. Inclusion is all about accepting and respecting different and unique points of view. The HRHCC promotes inclusion by helping to increase the acceptance and respect of our hispanic community and businesses in the Hampton Roads Community as a whole. Also, we work with non-hispanic businesses and organizations to gain the acceptance and respect of the Hispanic market.
These past nine years we have worked hard to position our organization as the bridge that unites all these diverse groups. We plan to continue playing that role in the coming years. That is an important role in this global economy, we want to continue to help Hampton Roads to be seen as as place where people and businesses from all backgrounds can prosper and develop in harmony.
Receiving this award has been a great honor and a recognition of all the hard work by our Board of Directors, our volunteers,our members and our sponsors. Thank you very much to all of you!
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Phone: (757) 348-9969
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Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9374
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