Open Communities wants to ensure that everybody knows their Fair Housing Rights, regardless of the language they speak.Â To help accomplish this goal, Open Communities has created Fair Housing Fact Sheets in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Russian and Urdu. These fact sheets are available on our website.
Why is it important to have Fair Housing information available in different languages?
“Denying housing because a person does not speak English well violates the Fair Housing Act,” said John TrasviÃ±a, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.Â Â At Open Communities, we believe that regardless of what language you speak, knowledge allows you to stand up for your rights and the rights of others.Â Even if you don’t speak English fluently, your Fair Housing rights are still protected.Â Â Here is a powerful example of why it is important to know your Fair Housing rights.
Property Management Company Settles Fair Housing Claim
In January 2013, a property management company based in Virginia Beach, VA, agreed to pay $82,500 to settle a fair housing complaint.Â A Hispanic woman filed a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development claiming that Virginia Realty, a property management company that manages over 500 rental units, refused to give her a rental application because she could not speak English well.Â She also claimed that they refused to work with the bilingual person she brought with her to translate.Â Â HUD discovered during its investigation that Virginia Realty had a written policy requiring all prospective tenants to be able to communicate with management staff in English without assistance from others, and to complete rental applications only while they were in the management office.
For more information on this case, please visit the HUD website.
People who believe they have experienced or witnessed unlawful housing discrimination should contact Open Communities at (847) 501-5760 ext 408.