The Department of Housing and Urban Development last week issued guidance stating that discrimination or “discriminatory effects” toward those with limited English proficiency is forbidden under the Fair Housing Act. While the FHA does not specifically state that having limited English ability constitutes protected status, it does cover national origin, “which is closely linked to the ability to communicate proficiently in English,” HUD said.
While unclear on its face, the guidance may encompass lenders in addition to housing providers. ABA will analyze the guidance and review its applicability to and implications for banks. For more information, contact Rod Alba or Rob Rowe.