J.D., University of Arizona
B.A., St. Andrews Presbyterian College
Ms. Pratt practices in the area of fair housing and civil rights, including lending and civil rights compliance.
Prior to joining Relman, Dane & Colfax she was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Programs and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. She was responsible for overseeing HUD’s enforcement of the Fair Housing Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other related laws. She also developed national policy and enforcement activities relating to fair housing and civil rights. She led the negotiations that led to the settlement of Assistant Secretary v. Associated Bank, the country’s largest lending redlining settlement, with relief totaling over $200 million, the settlement of National Fair Housing Alliance et al v. Wells Fargo, the settlement of allegations of discrimination based on race and national origin in the maintenance and marketing of REO properties with relief totaling $42 million, and numerous cases involving allegations of discrimination based on sex and familial status by lenders.
Ms. Pratt also participated in numerous policy development initiatives during her time at HUD. Her work included the development of the proposed and final rule on Discriminatory Effects under the Fair Housing Act, the proposed and final rule on the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing, the proposed rule describing unlawful harassment under the Fair Housing Act, and the proposed rule interpreting Section 3 of the Housing and Community Development Act. She developed a wide range of policy initiatives including those addressing discrimination against victims of domestic violence as unlawful discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, the application of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to persons with limited English proficiency, the use of arrest and conviction records consistent with civil rights and statutory prohibitions, and the application of various civil rights law to zoning, patterns of segregation, limitations on siting affordable housing and the application of civil rights principles to HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) project.
Ms. Pratt served as a subject matter expert on accessibility for the Fair Housing Accessibility Project and has developed and presented numerous presentations and consulted on housing accessibility issues. She also participated in the development of the 1994 FFIEC Policy Statement on Fair Lending.
Ms. Pratt staffed the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, co-chaired by former HUD Secretaries Jack Kemp and Henry Cisneros and helped prepare the Commission’s 2008 report “The Future of Fair Housing.” She was an expert witness in the case challenging the failure of Westchester County, New York to affirmatively further fair housing brought under the False Claims Act. She assisted with the development of the report to the United Nations committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Residential Segregation and Housing Discrimination in the United States, issued in January 2008.
Ms. Pratt has been a member of the faculty of the National Fair Housing Training Academy and the National Fair Housing Alliance’s Fair Housing School. She is a frequent speaker and trainer on a variety of civil rights and fair housing issues, including the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing, accessibility, and civil rights policy and enforcement issues.
She is co-author, with Professor Robert Schwemm, of the article Disparate Impact under the Fair Housing Act: A Proposed Approach and primary author and editor of Damages for Embarrassment and Humiliation in Housing Discrimination Cases published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.