August 2012 Coach's Quiz
We’ve given you four rules for complying with fair housing law when dealing with immigrant groups. Now let’s look at how the rules might apply in the real world. Take the COACH’s Quiz to see what you’ve learned.
INSTRUCTIONS: Each of the following questions has only one correct answer. On a separate piece of paper, write down the number of each question, followed by the answer you think is correct—for example, (1)b, (2)a, and so on. The correct answers (with explanations) follow the quiz. Good luck!
Whenever we hear news about recent terror alerts, we’re tempted to take a closer look at applications and supporting documents of single Middle Eastern men. Since we have legitimate concerns about terrorism, giving more scrutiny and asking more questions of people from the Middle East, but not other nationalities, is allowed under fair housing law. True or false?
It’s often difficult to understand prospects who call our office if they have a heavy foreign accent or don’t speak English well, so we usually cut the conversation short and refer them to our Web site to get information about the community. Although we’re just trying to overcome the language barrier, this could be a problem or discriminatory under fair housing law. True or false?
In general, federal fair housing law allows communities to check an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status. True or false?
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: b
Reason: Rule #1 applies here:
Rule #1: Treat People of All Nationalities with Consistency
Fair housing law bans discrimination based on national origin, which means that you can’t single out the applications of Middle Eastern men, but not those from other countries, for closer scrutiny.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #2 applies here:
Rule #2: Take Training to the Next Level
Treating prospects differently because of their accent or difficulty speaking English could be considered as evidence of linguistic profiling based on national origin—and lead to fair housing trouble.
Correct answer: a
Reason: Rule #3 applies here:
Rule #3: Take a Close Look at Your Applicant Screening Policies
The FHA doesn’t prohibit asking applicants about their citizenship or immigration status, according to a 2003 HUD memo, which said that “asking housing applicants to provide documentation of their citizenship or immigration status during the screening process would not violate the Fair Housing Act.”
Nevertheless, fair housing experts suggest it may not be advisable to inquire about citizenship and immigration status in light of HUD’s new enforcement emphasis on preventing discrimination against Latinos and persons from other countries—as well as the practical problems involved in checking all applicants’ citizenship and immigration documents. Also, you must be sure to ask the same questions of all applicants, not just those who appear to be “foreigners.”
Furthermore, you can’t do it if your community is subject to state or local laws—like those in California and New York City—that restrict inquiry into an applicant’s immigration status.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|How to Ensure Fair Housing Compliance When Dealing with Recent Immigrants|