Housing Rights: Disability, Race, National Origin and Language

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Disability Rights Texas Handout

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Housing Rights: Disability, Race, National Origin and Language

Neighbors, Homeowners Associations (HOA), Landlords, and Realtors often target people with disabilities for things they ignore when anyone else does them. We consistently see people with disabilities targeted because of their disability and their race, national origin, or the language they speak.

  • Have you gotten violation notices or fines for small things that others do all the time?
  • Have you been asked to abide by rules that others do not have to abide by?
  • Have your neighbors made comments to you that implied you did not belong in the neighborhood or that you would be more conferrable or better off somewhere else?
  • Have you been treated differently than others?
  • Have you been harassed at home based on disability and because of your race, national origin, or the language you speak?

What can this look like?

  • Person avoids neighborhood because they think the Chinese American residents of a home have COVID-19 because “they travel to China” and question if “they brought it back.”
  • Young black person pleads with a realtor to postpone visits by prospective buyers of home she is renting because young black person has COVID-19. Realtor refuses and insists on showing property.
  • Neighbors call the police on someone walking down the street talking to themselves in another language.
  • HOA targets home for children with disabilities where the children and staff that care for them are all people of color.
  • City targets people with disabilities after neighbor calls police on a black man with disabilities lifting weights in his garage.
  • Neighbor harass family with children with disabilities because children are black. Neighbor, among other things, directed racial slurs directed to family.
  • Family with child with disabilities harassed by law enforcement because of child’s disability. Law enforcement uses phrase “you people” to describe the black residents while berating family for child’s disability.
  • Landlord tells European immigrant with a disability that they should leave their home after asking for an accommodation because they did not seem “like a good fit” and did not “seem happy.”
  • Person with disability needs accommodation. The person is a non-native English speaker. Instead of engaging with resident in their native language, the landlord or homeowners association ignore the person with a disability or insist they speak in English.

If you need assistance with any of the issues described above, please call our intake line at 1-800-252-9108, apply online at intake.DRTx.org or email housing@drtx.org with your name, phone number, address, and a description of the issue.

Additional Housing Resources

For more information about your housing rights during COVID-19, check out our other resources:


Created: August 25, 2020
Publication Code: HS12

Disability Rights Texas logo

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.

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