Daughter Says Mom Denied Apartment Because She Doesn’t Speak English

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STOCKTON-

A Stockton woman is angry because she says she was denied housing for only speaking Spanish, which is unlawful in California.

Felipa Angulo is often her mother’s translator, which is a job she doesn't mind. Earlier this week, she and her mother set out for an apartment in Stockton. The Sunrise Apartment Complex on Wilson Way seemed to be the right fit.

But instead of turning in her mother’s rental application in, she said the apartment manager rejected her immediately.

"At that point she said, 'Does she speak English?' I said, 'No she doesn't.' 'Does she read English?' 'No, she doesn't.' 'Well, I can’t rent it to her,'" Angulo said.

FOX40 called the manager who denied requests for an on-camera interview. The manager denied Angulo's claims of discrimination and said they rejected her mother because she didn't meet the income threshold.

"She denied the application right there and then,” Angulo said.

Angulo argued the manager never saw the application, saying she “wouldn't take the application from my hands.”

The nonprofit, San Joaquin Fair Housing, said they'll try to mediate the matter.

"In California, anything with a contract, or any kind of business negotiation, they have to provide you with whatever is your preference of language to use,” Peggy Wagner, the director of San Joaquin Fair Housing said.

The apartment manager said over the phone that they're one of the fairest in the city -- renting out to a diverse community.

But Angulo and her mother feel it wasn't the color of their skin, rather the language her mother is limited to, that prompted discrimination.

“Fair and all. That's all I’m asking for. Fairness," Angulo said.

She’ll be looking for an apartment for her mother elsewhere.

The Better Business Bureau rated the complex with a C grade.