In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled, in a 5–4 split decision, that facially neutral state policies and practices that unintentionally segregated minorities could violate the Fair Housing Act. This article draws on the Texas fair housing litigation to engage broader debates on fair housing as a legal framework, and its potential for disrupting or transforming patterns of structural inequality. Specifically, it examines how shifts in the ways that society designs and implements housing policies may encourage courts, advocates, and legal actors to think about fair housing issues in new ways. Moving beyond the emphasis on disparate impact, my findings elaborate on two mostly overlooked ways that LIHTC reshapes the legal battleground in the fight for fair housing, by opening contentious debate on (a) the state level of government, and (b) passive government administration of policies. I interpret these effects as unintended consequences of the gradual shift toward market-driven policies that allow officials to govern at a distance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Urban Studies
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Low-income housing
- tax policy