Banks and landlords want to overturn federal rules on housing algorithms

Landlords and lenders are pushing the Department of Housing and Urban Development to make it easier for businesses to discriminate against possible tenants using automated tools. Under a new proposal that just finished its public comment period, HUD suggested raising the bar for some legal challenges, making discrimination cases less likely to succeed. Fair housing advocates have cried foul, arguing that the change will open the door for companies to discriminate with algorithms and get away with it.

Like most modern industries, the housing market relies on automation. In deciding whether to rent or sell someone a home, businesses run background checks, calculate insurance costs, examine credit, and…

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