Page:Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.pdf/7

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Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)

Opinion of the Court

ICP alleged the Department has caused continued segregated housing patterns by its disproportionate allocation of the tax credits, granting too many credits for housing in predominantly black inner-city areas and too few in predominantly white suburban neighborhoods. The ICP contended that the Department must modify its selection criteria in order to encourage the construction of lowincome housing in suburban communities.

The District Court concluded that the ICP had established a prima facie case of disparate impact. It relied on two pieces of statistical evidence. First, it found "from 1999–2008, [the Department] approved tax credits for 49.7% of proposed non-elderly units in 0% to 9.9% Caucasian areas, but only approved 37.4% of proposed nonelderly units in 90% to 100% Caucasian areas." 749 F. Supp. 2d 486, 499 (ND Tex. 2010) (footnote omitted). Second, it found "92.29% of [low-income housing tax credit] units in the city of Dallas were located in census tracts with less than 50% Caucasian residents." Ibid.

The District Court then placed the burden on the Department to rebut the ICP’s prima facie showing of disparate impact. 860 F. Supp. 2d 312, 322–323 (2012). After assuming the Department’s proffered interests were legitimate, id., at 326, the District Court held that a defendant—here the Department—must prove "that there are no other less discriminatory alternatives to advancing their proffered interests," ibid. Because, in its view, the Department "failed to meet [its] burden of proving that there are no less discriminatory alternatives," the District Court ruled for the ICP. Id., at 331. The District Court’s remedial order required the addition of new selection criteria for the tax credits. For instance, it awarded points for units built in neighborhoods with good schools and disqualified sites that are located adjacent to or near hazardous conditions, such as high crime areas or landfills. See 2012 WL 3201401 (Aug. 7,