National Origin-Based Housing Discrimination is the Target for April Fair Housing Month

By
Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

If I had to name any regret I have with my life, it would be that I did not take the time when I was younger to learn a foreign language. I tried German when I was in third grade, but the best I mustered was to sing O Tannenbaum. I dabbled a little in Russian, and then tried Spanish. But I can't speak a foreign language, and I'm too old now -- my brain doesn't soak information, it leaks information.

The best I can do when traveling is order a glass of wine or buy perfume or find a bathroom. Of course, what else is there? That about sums up everything I need.

Still, it pains me personally when I have to ask a client to spell a street address or his or her name. I feel it's insulting to tell a person I'm having a problem understanding an accent. Why? Because that client can speak two languages and I can speak only one.

One of the things I really love about Sacramento is the fact it is a diverse city. On my street alone among homes in Land Park we have an international community. One of my neighbors is a Sikh from Tahiti. Another is from Israel. Two are Japanese Americans. Yet another was born in Mexico but her children are Americans by birth. I work with clients who fly back to Mumbai or to Ho Chi Minh City or to some of those small towns in Baja California. I appreciate other cultures.

So, it pains me when agents complain about the Federal Fair Housing or question why we are subject to obeying it. It is against the law to discriminate in housing yet it happens. It's embarrassing that in this day and age we have to have a law against discrimination but because people discriminate, we do.

Fortunately, HUD is targeting national origin-based housing discrimination for its April Fair Housing Month. HUD encourages the public to report housing discrimination. Agents: you might grumble but HUD is watching you.

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Topic:
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Comments 11 New Comment

Rainmaker
638,389
Gene Mundt
Mortgage Lender - Chicago/Chicagoland Mortgages
www.genemundt.com

Elizabeth:  A number of the largest towns in our area have a large Spanish population.  The latest census proves that the numbers are growing for many minorities, although I hesitate to use that term.  Afterall, who's going to be the minority should that trend continue??  Just from a purely business-aspect, it makes sense to, at minimum, have a working ability to speak some Spanish.  From a more human viewpoint, it makes sense too.  But don't tell that to some ... that notion seems to outrage them.  When they say our society has evolved and is more sophisticated .. it makes me go .. really???  really??

Gene 

April 12, 2011 04:41 PM
Rainmaker
1,147,511
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Put 40 years of experience to work for you
Lyon Real Estate

Hey Myrl: I bet you can count to ten in Spanish. Say it with me, "uno, dos, tres."  But I like the bringing a note from home part, LOL.

Hi Chris Ann: We spoke a foreign language at our dinner table as a kid all right -- it was called Pig Latin.

Hi Mary: Darn tootin'. I like your answer to that question! I'm gonna remember that one myself. What's worse are the ones who say they don't want to live anywhere near -- name your discriminatory term -- and I can't work with them. I can't overlook it.

Hi Donne: Well, you know, perfume, wine and a bathroom, and you've got a happy life. What can I say?

Hi Gene: I imagine you get your share of crap in Chicago. I don't think society has changed all that much -- society has just become more polite about it and quiet around those who disagree. People are still throwing white sheets over their heads and holding secret meetings.

April 12, 2011 05:00 PM
Rainmaker
1,068,845
Myrl Jeffcoat
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
GreatWest Realty

Yep Elizabeth - I can count to ten in Spanish.  I have just learned the word for dozen - "docena."  You should see me in that little market.  Fingers are flying in the air (in a good way).  Dos docena - (2 dozen) tamales. . .Pollo.  I'm thinking of getting the Rosetta Stone software.  What is interesting is that I can often read Spanish.  But can't remember the words to speak it effectively.

April 12, 2011 10:12 PM
Ambassador
467,897
Lynn B. Friedman
Realtor - 404.939.2727 ATL BuckheadMidtownWestside
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Serving Clients is our Business - One Day At a Time.

Dear Elizabeth -

Well - I think the issue with using a second language is about embarrassment -- not that one's brain leaks after a certain age!  Since 1968, I have volunteered with adults helping them learn to speak English.  They often know words by sight but cannot deal with pronunciation issues.  The key is the same as in everything -----Practice, Practice Practice.

It seems we hesitate to practice speaking at all because we would be afraid to sound "X".  It may be sound foolish, sound unsure -, use the wrong word --- but in the second language, our voices are more tentative and our confidence is lower.

Believe this --- just learning to say "Thank-you" in several languages is a powerful RE tool.  Imagine those folks are struggling EVERY time they have to speak  --- what fun to be able to correct MY mispronunciation and be where they would be in THEIR confident voice?   I have received big smiles just for trying! Bulgarian

Almost the witching hour and I must go to bed before the clock chimes 3 times!

Have a happy day -
Lynn

April 13, 2011 03:01 AM
Rainmaker
1,147,511
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Put 40 years of experience to work for you
Lyon Real Estate

I suspect the reason you can read Spanish is because many words are English or derivatives just as many of our words are derivatives from another language. Spring is here. We need to go for a ride with the top down, Myrl. Like lunch in the Delta or Foothills, and I'll drive.

Hey Lynn: I don't think it's embarrassment. I can't remember the last time I was embarrassed. See, to be embarrassed, you have to really care what other people think of you and that, quite frankly, is none of my business.

April 13, 2011 10:05 AM
Rainmaker
1,147,511

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents

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Additional Information

Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate, midtown Sacramento office. Selling since 1974. Homebuying expert at About.com. Best short sale agent in Sacramento. Elizabeth sells homes from Galt to Lincoln.
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Author Bio: Elizabeth Weintraub is a Sacramento real estate broker, author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, who specializes not only in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento but sells extensively from Elk Grove to Lincoln. Weintraub is prominently known as the #1 Sacramento Short Sale agent throughout the Sacramento four-county area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you.