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Housing Discrimination Based on Immigration Status On the Rise

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New Complaints Filed for Housing Discrimination

Over the last year, complaints of immigration status being the catalyst for housing discrimination have been on the rise. Reports of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and other undocumented individuals receiving denied home offers with no explanation began circulating in early 2021.

One of the cases gaining media attention centered around a New York lab scientist looking to purchase a home in New Jersey. After multiple denied offers, his real estate agent moved to file a complaint following conversations with the homeowner regarding the individual's DACA status.

This sparked conversations regarding what is and isn't covered under the Federal Fair Housing Act. Read on to learn about these protections.

What is Covered by Fair Housing Laws?

The Fair Housing Act was enacted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1968 in the wake of the civil rights movement. At the time of enactment, discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, or sex was prohibited. Since then, it has expanded to include familial status and disability; and in 2012, HUD released an FAQ outlining that a person residing in the United States is entitled to these protections regardless of immigration status.

However, since states reserve the right to create anti-discrimination laws, complaints based on discriminatory housing practices due to immigration status may be classified under another category like national origin. That being said, the HUD ruling on immigration status supersedes these local laws.

Protecting the Rights of Immigrants Since 1976

The immigration attorneys at Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. are dedicated to ensuring that you and your loved ones are protected throughout your immigration process. Our team is licensed to practice law in 16 states and four countries and is prepared to help your case from start to finish.

If you have questions about your DACA or immigration status, or need assistance throughout the filing process, we are here to help. Call (800) 708-4399 or fill out this short form to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.


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