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WASHINGTON, DC-The NAACP and the National Association of Home Builders are joining forces and resources to work against minority discrimination in the homebuilding area. The two organizations have released a report detailing their policy objectives under this initiative.

“There has historically been a lag in home ownership between minorities and Americans of European descent,” Duane Desiderio, staff vice president for legal affairs at NAHB, tells GlobeSt.com, citing a 25% lag that currently exists.

Actions the two organizations plan to take together range from lobbying efforts at all levels of government to litigation against violations of fair housing laws. Already, the two organizations have joined forces to litigate a case in Texas in which local regulations have resulted, they say, in de facto minority housing discrimination.

The target is an ordinance passed by the City of Kyle, a bedroom community outside of Austin, which increased the minimum square footage of houses and lots, as well as mandated several high-end features such as three-car garages and top quality construction and design materials in new homes. Desiderio says the new requirement will add approximately $38,500 in costs per unit.

“These requirements affect the wallets of all potential homebuyers, of course, but they disproportionately affect African Americans, Hispanics and other people of color.” The local NAHB lobbied against the ordinance, arguing to the city council that the new requirements were unnecessary and would drive up the price of housing.

Other joint policy initiatives under the partnership include:

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