Being Kept Out of a Home Because of Where You’re From?

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Understanding your fair housing rights when you or your family come from another country

Who is protected by the Fair Housing Act?
The Federal Fair Housing Act protects your right to rent an apartment, buy a home, obtain a mortgage, or purchase homeowner’s insurance free from discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability
  • Religion

Cities and counties may have other laws to protect these and additional groups.

What is national origin?
National origin is the country where a person was born, or where that person’s family or ancestors came from. It’s about heritage and where a person or family has a connection.

What are my housing rights related to my national origin?
Some of the things a landlord or home seller cannot do because of your national origin include:

  • Tell you where you can and can’t live based on where you or your family are from.
  • Steer you to specific neighborhoods based on perceived national origin.
  • Harass or intimidate you based on national origin.
  • Deny you housing based on accent or language proficiency.
  • Offer you different rent rates based on ethnicity.
  • Fail to provide the same level of service or housing amenities because a tenant was born in another country.

If you believe your fair housing rights have been violated, you can:

  • File a complaint online with HUD at tinyurl.com/FHcomplaint
  • Call the HUD Texas regional office to get the phone number for the HUD local field office near you at (817) 978-5900, (800) 669-9777, or TTY (817) 978-5595.
  • Those who are deaf or hard of hearing and use a TTY may call their local HUD offices through the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

Contact Disability Rights Texas to help you with any of the following:

  • Additional information or advice on filing HUD complaints
  • Understanding your rights
  • Providing rights training to your community group
  • Referral to community resources

Call the DRTx Housing team at 1-833-212-4212.

DRTx Sign Language Intake Lines: 1-866-362-2851 or 512-271-9391.

To file a housing discrimination complaint with HUD, visit www.DRTx.org/HUDcomplaint.


The work that provided the basis 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 contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.


Download the National Origin flyer


Publication Code: HS25

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Statewide Intake: 1-800-252-9108
Sign Language Video Phone: 1-866-362-2851
Purple 2 Video Phone: 512-271-9391
Online Intake available 24/7: intake.DRTx.org

Disclaimer: Disability Rights Texas strives to update its materials on an annual basis, and this handout is based upon the law at the time it was written. The law changes frequently and is subject to various interpretations by different courts. Future changes in the law may make some information in this handout inaccurate.

The handout is not intended to and does not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.

To request this handout in ASL, Braille, or as an audio file, contact us.

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