The Law Center has long focused on ending housing discrimination as a key element in the fight against structural inequality. Minority citizens, people with disabilities, and other populations have often been marginalized through numerous forms of housing discrimination, such as segregation, institutionalization, insurance redlining, unfair real estate practices, and biased actions from public officials.
Until the 1970s, persons with developmental disabilities were typically warehoused in bleak, state-run institutions where they were often subject to inhumane treatment and afforded little opportunity to social, educational and employment benefits. The Law Center helped spark the national movement to end the institutionalization of people with developmental disabilities with the Pennhurst litigation, which led to the closure of the infamous institution and the creation of a system of community-based living arrangements in its place – a change with substantial benefits both for people with disabilities and society in general. We successfully litigated similar cases to close institutions across the country, and we then brought cases to secure increased funding for community services.
The Law Center has also brought a number of lawsuits challenging race and gender discrimination, and we have built partnerships with leading fair housing advocacy organizations in the region to help drive systemic change.