HUD, national origin and The Golden Rule

By
Property Manager with AmeriTeam Property Management SL#3200658
https://activerain.com/droplet/8dq

"Editor's note":  The following is directly from HUD's site- as sadly, ActiveRain is not one of the 335 sites to which I could've directly shared it.

Overall, this HUD initiative should be looked at as a positive....maybe...I think.  But then again, I just don't know.  Oftentimes, good folks doing the right thing have trouble recognizing the wrong thing when they see it- and often those same good folks have a hard time believing that others would do the wrong thing when they're told about it.  Those folks benefit from these types of things, and the would've-been-discriminated-against folks are the ultimate beneficiaries.  All is well, right?  Perhaps.

 

Who doesn't benefit from these types of forums and focuses?  The folks (and I count myself among them) that know what's right and know what's wrong- and choose the path of right.  This won't help me a bit.  This won't change the way I do business and lead me to treat folks any differently than I do now.  It won't light a bulb over my head and have me thinking "Dang!  I did my background checks on Julio, saw that his credit was great, saw that his rental history and employment history were excellent, discovered he was from Mexico and rejected him.  I can't do that?"  Nope- not happening.

 

When you make a commitment to do the right things and stay the course, abiding by Fair Housing laws are a by-product and not your goal.  Living by The Golden Rule and treating everyone as your brother is a means towards an end we don't yet know.  You can read every document HUD's ever created, you can pore through every pamphlet they've ever distributed, you can tack up all of the Equal Housing Opportunity posters the law requires, and have that cute little house on your business cards- but my military-educated mind can sum things up in three simple words:  treat people fairly.  Just treat people fairly.

 

Good folks are also hurt by initiatives such as this.  I've always said that if a system can be gamed, it will be gamed- and Fair Housing-land is not immune to it's players.  Every person arriving from another country and having their application to rent or purchase rejected will not be a victim of discrimination.  Every Realtor that calls one of America's newest residents to inform them they can't be one of their newest residents isn't a scoundrel- and should never be called one or be forced to defend themselves against a false claim. 

 

In keeping an eye and oversight upon our nation's lenders, landlords and Realtors, the scales of justice and fairness cry out that we're all created equal- but the paths some have chosen and poor decisions some have made in destroying their credit has changed them along the way. 

 

Everyone should be judged fairly...everyone should be judged fairly...everyone should be judged fairly.  But some folks must accept that part of The American Dream will have to wait until their credit's a little better- and there's nothing wrong with that.

 

HUD No. 11-055
Elena Gaona
(202) 402-6627
FOR RELEASE
Monday
April 11, 2011

HUD TO ADDRESS "NATIONAL ORIGIN" HOUSING DISCRIMINATION DURING NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING MONTH
Community talks and media campaign will focus on discrimination against persons of foreign descent

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it will launch an effort to better address national origin based housing discrimination during Fair Housing Month in April. HUD will initiate a national media campaign and a series of community discussions on topics ranging from rental practices to mortgage lending. HUD's first Immigrant Housing Conference, which will educate the public and housing providers about their fair housing rights and responsibilities, will be conducted in Omaha, Nebraska, April 14.

"The new Census data demonstrate that newcomers are settling not only in traditional gateway states. They reside in communities across the Midwest and South. Through this education campaign, HUD will work with communities to prevent housing discrimination and promote immigrant integration into the broader society," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in rental, sales or home lending transactions based on a person's national origin. This includes discrimination based on a person's ancestry, country of birth outside the United States, and the language they speak. National origin discrimination often involves immigrants or non-English speaking individuals, but can also involve native-born U. S. citizens based on their family ancestry. This type of discrimination may also occur in conjunction with the other protections of the Fair Housing Act against race, color, religion, gender, disability, and family status discrimination.

One part of HUD's "Live Free" national media campaign is a print advertisement featuring a Latino worker looking into the horizon, with a caption in Spanish reading: "You have the right to live where you choose. Report housing discrimination."

HUD also recently awarded nearly $41 million to 108 fair housing organizations and non-profit agencies across the country to educate the public and combat housing and lending discrimination. Many of the groups will use the grants to address discrimination against immigrants, Latinos, non-native English speakers and minority communities. See this selected list of grantees and their work.

Some examples of how the grants will be used to combat national origin discrimination include:

  • The Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, California, will test for discrimination in the sale and rental of housing units in the area of national origin;

  • The Equal Rights Center in Washington, DC, will investigate 240 new complaints of housing discrimination alleging violation of federal fair housing laws with an emphasis on national origin;

  • The Idaho Legal Aid Services will broadcast public service announcements in Spanish about FHA lending information; and

  • Prairie State Legal Services in Rockford, Illinois, will focus on educational outreach to Spanish-speaking residents, a group recognized statewide as at-risk.

###

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and  transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

 

Posted by
 
DENNIS B. BURGESS
Property Manager

Licensed Florida Realtor
 
AmeriTeam Property Management
845 N. Garland Ave., #200
Orlando, FL  32801
 
 
 
205-445-4755 cell/direct
407-901-3636 x103 office
407-901-5147 office fax
 
Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"SM
 
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Rainmaker
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Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I have some rentals in Apopka and every so often we get an application from an apparently illegal alien - typically Hispanic people.  They don't have a Florida driver license/id and cannot produce a valid social security card. I had one guy go so far as to provide me a "friend's" social security number.  I told him I wasn't interested in assisting with identity theft.  I'm not sure if these are some of the things HUD is trying to prevent or not. 

Apr 13, 2011 10:43 AM #1
Rainer
372,583
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

Dennis ~  Great information on HUD; something everyone should read and heed.  Nice presentation; thanks.

Apr 13, 2011 12:53 PM #2
Rainmaker
422,451
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Rob:  Thank you for your comment and insight.  Verifying identity is sometimes a nightmare- as the battle over the effectivenes and fairness of the e-Verify program shows.  just as the "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" saying goes, it's the "good guys" playing by the rules that are often hurt here.  One has to take a Florida driver's license as a given that the bearer is a citizen or a person that's in some other manner authorized to be here.  The problem (and one Florida has made recent strides to curtail) is that the authenticity of any derived document is only as good as that of the source document. With many Mexican citizens' source document being their counsel's Matricula Consular card, the situation gets very murky.  The MC is widely-considered to be one of the (if not THE) most fraudulent documents in th world.  It says a great deal that banks in Mexico won't even accept it- can you imagine a U.S. bank not accepting our Social Security card?  Same premise.  And speaking of the SSN's, my mother had a number of Jackson-Hewitt franchises back in the mid-90's, and one year she had a time where more than 40 different people used the same one to claim benefits.  Not good.

Apr 13, 2011 04:07 PM #3
Rainmaker
422,451
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Tish:  Thank you for your comment.  It seems like there's never an end to the government's stepping into the housing busines and elsewhere.  Fair Housing exists for a very good reason (though there may be an occasional "Duh!" from my Birmingham-bred self).  Like in many other scenarios, though, one must also guard against those unsavory folks looking to manipulate those laws and hysteria for their own personal gain.

Apr 13, 2011 04:19 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,038,971
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Wow, Dennis that story about your mom is pretty wild.  And that was 15 years ago. 

Apr 15, 2011 02:30 AM #5
Rainmaker
422,451
Dennis Burgess
AmeriTeam Property Management - Mid Florida, FL
Orlando Property Manager and Realtor

Hi, Rob:  Thank you for your comment.  FYI (and Reader's Digest version) for others- my mom had some Jackson-Hewitt tax franchises in the metro Houston area back in the mid-'90's (Houston proper, Galena Park, Humble, Katy if anyone knows the areas).  She ultimately got out from under them (or from above them, I guess would be more accurate), but things got crazy as in cases where she'd discovered more than 40 folks using the same Social Security Number in obtaining tax refunds.

No bueno'....

Apr 15, 2011 03:51 AM #6
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Rainmaker
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Dennis Burgess

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