United States v. Starrett City Assocs.

840 F.2d 1096 (2d Cir. 1988)



Race is not always an inappropriate consideration under Title VIII of the Civil rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act, in efforts to promote integrated housing. However, Title VIII does not allow the use of rigid racial quotas of indefinite duration to maintain a fixed level of integration by restricting minority access to scarce and desirable rental accommodations otherwise available to them.


The government brought suit to enjoin a management company's use of rigid racial quotas in the rental of apartments in violation of The Fair Housing Act. The trial court found in favor of the government and enjoined the management company's activities because the use of rigid racial quotas of indefinite duration to maintain a fixed level of integration was in violation of the law. The case was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Is the use of rigid racial quotas for indefinite durations to maintain a fixed level of integration a violation of the law?




The court found that the policy of the appellant was of an indefinite duration and that it restricted minority access to available apartments in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The court noted that in order to maintain a policy of rigid racial quotas, there had to be a prior history of discrimination, and the quotas had to be tailored so that they were sufficiently temporary to meet a defined goal as that quota's termination point. The court also found that there had been no sufficient basis for instituting the policy because there were no allegations of prior racial discrimination against whites, which affected their ability to obtain rental apartments. The court accordingly affirmed the trial court's judgment.

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