Rental Applicants Using Housing Vouchers Settle Ground-Breaking Discrimination Class Action Against SafeRent Solutions (ABC)

Below is an excerpt from an article published by ABC on April 26 about a settlement that, if approved, will provide over $2 million to tenants with housing vouchers who were disproportionately discriminated against by SafeRent Solutions and its algorithmic screening program. Greater Boston Legal Services’ Senior Housing Attorney Todd Kaplan and National Consumer Law Center’s Shennan Kavanagh are quoted.

BOSTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / April 26, 2024 / On April 25, 2024, the Honorable Angel Kelley for the United States District Court of Massachusetts allowed a $2.275 million settlement on behalf of Massachusetts housing voucher recipients to move forward, certifying the settlement classes and directing notice to be sent to class members. The Court will hold a final approval hearing in November. The settlement, if finally approved, will resolve a lawsuit against SafeRent Solutions, a national tenant screening provider formerly known as CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions, claiming that SafeRent’s algorithmic tenant screening program (the “SafeRent Score”) disproportionately harmed housing voucher recipients, including Black and Hispanic individuals, under Massachusetts law protecting individuals based on their source of income and race. In July 2023, the Court denied SafeRent’s motion to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Massachusetts Discrimination Law claims.

The pending settlement provides for significant injunctive relief to tenant applicants who rely on vouchers and may be subjected to SafeRent tenant screening. It would require a more robust evaluation of prospective housing voucher tenants’ eligibility for housing based on their full record rather than relying on a score derived though an algorithm. If SafeRent develops another tenant screening score it wishes to use after five years, it would have to be validated by an independent third-party organization agreed to by the Plaintiffs. This injunctive relief would establish precedent for the tenant screening industry.

Read more here.