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National Origin In Housing

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National Origin In Housing


The Fair Housing Act provides specific protections regardless of National Origin. This refers to individuals who are, or whose ancestors are, from a county other than the United States of America, including Native Americans. This also refers to individuals who have the physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.


Under the Fair Housing Act, housing providers cannot:

  • Use ads that exclude applicants based on national origin
  • Give preference to one group over another based on national origin
  • Apply different terms or conditions
  • Deny applications based on perceived country of origin
  • Make disparaging comments about a group based on national origin


Some potential signs of national origin discrimination could be:

  • Prioritizing applicants on a waiting list based on national origin
  • Delaying repairs due to Limited English Proficiency
  • Assign someone to a particular area or unit because “they may feel more comfortable” around others of their perceived nationality
  • Considering a tenant’s immigration status before pursuing eviction


However, landlords are allowed to request immigration documentation and conduct inquiries to determine whether a potential renter meets the criteria for rental, as long as the same procedure is applied to all potential renters.

Under the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with a person’s exercise or enjoyment of rights granted or protected by the Fair Housing Act. This includes threats to report a person to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they report housing discrimination to HUD[1].


File a Complaint in a Language Other Than English
HUD Guidance on LEP and the Fair Housing Act
HUD Guidance on LEP and Title VI
Limited English Proficiency FAQ
Executive Order 13166
HUD Translated Documents
Fair Housing Outreach Materials in English and Other Languages




The work that provided the bases for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations continued in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.