National origin was one of the first four protected classes covered by the Fair Housing Act of 1968. National origin means where you are from or perceived to be from. This includes ancestry, ethnicity, birthplace, culture, and language. Regardless of citizenship status, no one can be denied their fair housing rights because they or their family members are from another country, they speak a different language, or have customs or accents that associate them with another national origin. Refugees, immigrants, and those currently obtaining citizenship are all protected by fair housing laws. Some examples include:
- Refusing to rent to people who don’t speak English.
- Requiring only people from other countries to show extra forms of identification to apply for housing.
- Making offensive statements or calling someone derogatory names based on where they are from.
- Refusing to allow someone to communicate with an interpreter or refusing to rent to a person who needs an interpreter.
- Tell a person they are not allowed to cook cultural foods because the smell.
- Making housing unavailable based on stereotypes about a person’s national origin.