National Origin, Immigration, & Refugee Status
State and federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination based on national origin, religion, and ancestry. The fair housing laws protect you regardless of your immigration status. It is unlawful for a landlord to treat you differently because of your immigration status, national origin, or religion. It is unlawful for a landlord to ask you questions about your immigration status because of how you look, talk or dress. Some landlords, owners, real estate agents, etc., might ask if you are in the country legally, ask to see your green card or visa, or ask for your social security number. If you think that you are being asked about your immigration status because of where you are from, call the FHCCI.
Types of housing discrimination due to national origin may include:
- Proof of citizenship or legal status solely due to someone’s national origin.
- Requiring that someone “must speak English” in order to be rented to.
- Providing different loan products due to national origin or targeting people with predatory products solely due to their national origin.
- An advertisement which states, “No Mexicans.”
- Charging different deposits or application requirements solely due to someone’s national origin.
- A public housing authority who refuses to provide a translator or provide documents in alternative languages upon request.
- FHCCI Fact Sheet 15 – Immigrants, Refugees, and People of All Religious Faiths Fair Housing Rights
- US Dept of Justice Federal Protections Against National Origin Discrimination – Alternative languages
- Post 9/11 Forms of Discrimination and Information by US Dept of Justice
- Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Guidance as issued by HUD, January 22, 2007
- HUD Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Frequently Asked Questions
- HUD Immigration Status and Housing Discrimination Frequently Asked Questions:
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Joint Statement Regarding Immigrant and Domestic Violence Survivor Access to Housing & Services, August 5, 2016
- U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Office of General Counsel Guidance on Fair Housing Act Protections for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, September 15, 2016
- U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement, Prosecutorial Discretion, June 17, 2011
- Understanding an ITIN number for legal residency.
- King County, Washington Top 100 FAQs for Property Owners and Managers (See page 51 for examples of alternative forms of ID for new immigrants)
- Cooking Odors & National Origin, Northwest Fair Housing Alliance
Reports of Interest:
- Housing Discrimination Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities 2012: U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, June 2013
- Fair Housing Rental Testing Audit Report for Indianapolis Metro Area: Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, April 2013
- State of Hispanic Homeownership Report, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®), 2014
- Toward a More Perfect Union: Understanding Systemic Racism and Resulting Inequity in Latino Communities, UnidosUS, April 2021