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Landlord group opposes translating renter information for minority tenants

Communities of color are harder hit by eviction, but Utah Apartment Association director says Utah is “an English-only state.”
File Photo: Eviction Notice
Posted at 7:45 AM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 09:45:40-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A few months ago housing advocates, professors and attorneys came together as a working group formed by the Utah courts to brainstorm ways to halt, or at least curb, evictions.

One idea that emerged was to translate certain key pieces of eviction law information into Spanish, Vietnamese and Arabic to help communities of color hit hard by evictions, with advocates offering to pay for certified translations.

One of the landlord attorneys bounced the idea off Paul Smith, head of The Utah Apartment Association.
He was not receptive.

“We are an English only state,” Smith wrote in an email obtained by The Utah Investigative Journalism Project. “It’s hard enough to interpret meaning in one language, let alone additional languages that wouldn’t be binding in the courts.”

Click here to read the full story from The Salt Lake Tribune.