Maryland residents who have been victimized by housing discrimination may gain some relief following a narrow decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The June 2015 ruling upheld the applicability of the federal Fair Housing Act to a case in which the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. In this case, Dallas officials had applied federal vouchers more predominantly in low-income neighborhoods, and the court ruled that such action could have a disparate impact on minorities and thus be subject to the FHA even if it wasn't intentional.
The Fair Housing Act, enacted in 1968, forbids housing, renting and lending discrimination based on certain factors such as race, religion, gender and disability. The concept of disparate impact, which involves a finding that certain zoning, lending and sales practices have more of an effect on certain groups of people, is not specifically addressed in the legislation.