Fair Housing Law Paper – Best Writing Service

INSTRUCTIONS
Please provide short responses to questions I through VIII.
Dred Scott was a slave in Missouri, a slave state, who was taken to live in Illinois and
Wisconsin, free states. Upon his return to Missouri, he sued for his freedom. The United States Supreme Court held that he had no right under the United States Constitution to sue for his freedom in Federal Court. Does the United States Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford, which was decided in 1857, have any significance today?
In the Civil Rights Cases, decided in 1883, the United States Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses only apply when there is “state action.” Therefore, it held that Congress had no power under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to pass legislation that prohibits discrimination in public accommodations that are privately owned. Explain how the United States Supreme Court interprets the requirement of “state action” in the 14th Amendment today?
In 1947, the United States Supreme Court held in Shelley v. Kraemer that a state court could not enforce a private restrictive covenant that prohibits the occupancy of land by an African American. Nonetheless, restrictive covenants prohibiting African Americans from buying or renting land continued to be used until 1968. Explain how people could continue to use restrictive covenants after the Court’s decision in Shelly v. Kraemer?
In 1968, the United States Supreme Court in Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. interpreted the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to prohibit racial discrimination in the sale or rental of private property and held that Congress had power to enact the 1866 Civil Rights Act under the 13th Amendment, which was adopted in 1865 to abolish slavery. Explain how the Court found that Congress had power under the 13th Amendment to prohibit racial discrimination in the sale or rental of private property?
There are seven classes protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act, as amended. List them below.
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
________________________
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The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of “dwellings.” What is a
“dwelling?” Give some examples of a “dwelling.”
Explain why Congress relied on the Commerce Clause and not the 14th Amendment when it passed Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act)?
Explain the different standards of proof required to find discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act)?
Question One (two-thirds of grade):
The Village of Applewood with a population of 35,000 persons consists of a small commercial district and a large residential district. The residential district is divided into two zones. The City prohibits multifamily housing and requires that single-family homes be built on lots that are at least 15,000 square feet in size in Zone One. The City allows multifamily housing and allows lot sizes for single-family units to be at least 8,000 square feet in Zone Two. Both zones are of roughly equal size in area.
The demographics of these two residential districts are as follows:
Zone One is 95% white, 4% African American and 1% Latino. Most persons who live in Zone One are middle to upper income individuals or families.
Zone Two is 50% African American, 30% Latino, and 20% white. Most of the white persons who live in Zone Two live in the north part of Zone Two, adjacent to Zone One.
Most persons who live in Zone Two are middle or lower income individuals or families. Most of these persons cannot find affordable housing in Zone One.
The overall demographics of Applewood are: 60% white, 25% African American, and 15%
Latino.
David Smith is a young white entrepreneur who lives in Zone One in Applewood. He has started a real estate development corporation, whose goal is to provide low and moderate-income persons in Applewood quality affordable single-family housing. Smith has purchased a 120 acre tract of land in Zone One. Zone Two is overbuilt and there is little undeveloped land available for new housing. Zone One still has many tracts of vacant land available for development.
Smith plans to turn the land he purchased in Zone One into a subdivision of affordable multifamily dwellings that provides a safe and comfortable integrated living environment for its residents. He plans to rent units to voucher holders. A majority of the housing voucher holders in Applewood are low-income persons of color. Many housing voucher holders are women and persons with disabilities.
Smith’s plans to build single-family homes in Zone One on lots that are 8,000 square feet, which is slightly smaller than the median lot size in the United States and the same size allowed for single family homes in Zone Two. He plans that the square footage of the rooms in the singlefamily homes will be slightly smaller than allowed by Applewood’s building code, which will allow for more bedrooms. Also, he will provide one bathroom for every two bedrooms, rather than the one bathroom per bedroom requirement for homes in Zone One. These modifications will allow the homes to be sold at a lower cost and allow larger families to occupy the units. The homes are designed by one of the leading architects in Applewood and will be more energy efficient because they will be built with less expensive (but more durable) materials than allowed by the Applewood building code.
Smith also plans to build two two-story multi-family apartment complexes on the land in Zone One that will contain thirty affordable units in each complex. These units will meet the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act and will be affirmatively marketed to persons with lower incomes with disabilities. There is an acute shortage of affordable accessible housing in Applewood.
The Village has a procedure for granting variances to its building and zoning requirements. The Village frequently grants variances upon a showing that the integrity of the city plan will not be compromised.
Smith has asked for a number of variances so that he can build the projects in Zone One. The Village has denied his requests. A large number of residents of Zone One objected to the variances at a public meeting on the ground that they would change the residential character of the neighborhood and reduce the value of their properties. Some residents objected on the ground that a change would bring undesirable residents into their neighborhoods and, therefore, would increase crime and other anti-social behavior.
Smith alleges that the Village and the residents of Zone One are motivated by unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, familial status and handicap. He has come to your law office seeking help. He would like to prove that the zoning requirements are discriminatory both because of their intent and because of their impact.
Does Smith have standing to file a suit in federal court against the village and village officials and ABC Financial and why? He plans to allege that the Village’s and ABC’s actions discriminate against classes based on race, color, national origin, familial status,
and handicap under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, under the 1866 Civil Rights Act, and under the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988.
Can Smith assert the rights of prospective buyers or renters of the homes and units he seeks to build and the rights of neighborhood residents in Zone One who would like to live in a more diverse community and why? Would prospective buyers or renter have standing on their own to sue and why?
What theories of liability can Smith allege against the Village and Village Officials under the 14th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the Fair Housing Act for denying him the zoning variance and accommodation? Can he allege intentional discrimination, disparate impact, or failure to accommodate persons with disabilities? What are the arguments he would make under each theory that you decide he should assert?
What evidence would Smith claim supports his arguments and what additional evidence does he need to develop in order to prevail on these arguments?
What arguments would you expect the defendants to make to counter these claims, and how would you expect a court would resolve them?
Smith has a severely developmentally disabled adult son. In addition to the above, he wants to build a large eight bedroom residence for severely developmentally disabled adults in Zone One. He would like his son to live there. Each resident would have his or her own bedroom and bath and sitting area. There would also be a common kitchen and recreation room. The building would also contain a separate apartment for a social worker/caretaker. This arrangement would not meet the Village’s current definition of a “single family” home because the residents would not be related by blood or marriage. Thus the housing violates the current zoning law.
Smith asked for a reasonable accommodation to allow the home, but the Village denied his request. A large number of the neighbors adjacent to the site objected on the ground that the home would contribute to overcrowding in the neighborhood and increased crime and danger to the residents. Is Smith entitled to a reasonable accommodation of the zoning ordinance so that he can build the home and why? Are there other additional arguments you would raise in support of Smith? If yes, develop what arguments you would make and what arguments you would expect the defendant to make?
Smith will need financing to build the project. He went to ABC Financial (ABC) to discuss a loan for the project. ABC told Smith that it would be willing to finance the project if he can get the proper permits from the Village. ABC has a standard interest rate of 3% on loans to construct single-family homes and a standard interest rate of 5% on loans to construct multifamily homes and commercial buildings.
Smith asked for a 3% rate on all of the homes, both single family and multifamily, to make them more affordable and, therefore, more available to protected classes under the Fair Housing Act. He was told by ABC’s loan officer that this would violate ABC’s lending policy. Smith feels that the interest rates charged by the bank are discriminatory against people of color and persons with disabilities because they increase the cost of multifamily housing, which lower income individuals can more easily afford. What arguments will Smith and ABC make and how would you expect a court to rule?
Discuss what remedies Smith might obtain if he is successful in the lawsuit.
Discuss what, if any, options other than filing a lawsuit might be available to Smith and discuss their merits.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution provides that “Nor shall any State. . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
42 U.S.C. Section 1982, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, provides that “All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.”
42 U.S.C. Section 3604, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 [the Fair Housing Act], as amended in 1988, provides in pertinent part that “it shall be unlawful –
To refuse to sell . . . to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin. . . .
To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin. . . .
To make, print, or publish or cause to be made, printed or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.
(f) (1) To discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap. . . . (3) For purposes of this subsection, discrimination includes—
(B) a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodation may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling;. . . .
2 U.S.C. Section 3605, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 [the Fair Housing Act], as amended in 1988, provides in pertinent part that:
In General – It shall be unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes engaging in residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against
any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Definition – As used in this section, the term “residential real estate-related transaction” means any of the following:
(1) The making or purchasing of loans or providing other financial assistance –
(A) For purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling.
Question two (one-third credit):
What was the most significant thing that you learned in this class and why do you consider it important? Also, describe how what you learned in the class may be helpful to you in the future.
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