Racial discrimination in the property tax foreclosure context is difficult, if not impossible, to prove in court because the applicable laws and policies are almost always facially race-neutral. Nonwhite people are not explicitly singled out for unequal treatment, yet foreclosure laws and policies often have a demonstrably disproportionate effect on low-income, nonwhite homeowners. Alleging that a law or policy results in a disparate impact avoids the difficulties of proving discriminatory treatment by allowing plaintiffs to show discriminatory effect without the burden of proving discriminatory intent.
Challenging Property Tax Foreclosure Policies Under the Fair Housing Act: Lessons from Morningside
TLR@90, Fall 2018