As stewards of the right to own, use, and transfer private property, REALTORS® know an open housing market free from discrimination benefits consumers, communities, and the American economy. Yet, more than 50 years after passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, the homeownership rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans lag behind that of White Americans.
NAR is committed to the enforcement of fair housing laws and to policies that remove historic barriers to homeownership.
Here are five ways you and your association can champion fair housing this month:
1. Attend NAR’s Virtual Fair Housing Events.
Join NAR on April 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET as we commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act with At What Price? Overcoming Barriers to Homeownership on Facebook Live. Expert speakers will address ongoing barriers to homeownership, and we’ll celebrate the 2023 Fair Housing Champion Award winners who are overcoming these obstacles in their businesses and communities.
Then, on April 26 at 1:00 p.m. CT, NAR NXT Up: Fair Housing – Beyond the Transaction will explore how REALTORS® are sharing fair housing knowledge and advancing equitable homeownership opportunities through association and community leadership, plus learn how you can take steps to do the same. During this interactive Zoom conversation, panelists from across the country will explore how the lingering effects of history are still impacting the industry today and highlight what state and local associations are doing to establish best practices, raise awareness, and provide guidance and support.
2. Learn About NAR’s 2023 Legislative Fair Housing Priorities.
The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings are just around the corner, and our 2023 policy priorities and legislative asks are available on FlyIn.realtor. Fair housing is a priority at the top of our agenda, and NAR is committed to enforcing fair housing laws and policies that remove historical barriers to homeownership. We continue to advocate for reauthorizing and increasing funding for HUD fair housing enforcement programs.
3. Apply for a Fair Housing Grant.
Fair Housing Grants support state and local REALTOR® associations’ activities that create or improve systems, programs, and policies that uphold fair housing laws and strengthen REALTORS®’ commitment to offering equal professional service to all.
Two levels of grants are available. Level 1 grants support efforts to educate REALTORS® and the public about fair housing topics, while Level 2 grants support activities that address fair housing issues in a community. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from January 3 through October 16, with decisions announced within approximately one week.
4. Use the REALTOR® Party Fair Housing Toolkit.
The Fair Housing Toolkit details how fair housing grants can support a variety of initiatives that help state and local associations create or improve systems, programs, and policies that uphold fair housing laws and strengthen REALTORS®’ commitment to equal professional service and being leaders of diverse, inclusive communities. The toolkit is based on associations’ successes and offers practical tips and examples including fair housing classes, guest speakers, fair housing forums and more.
Rich in ideas and resources, the Toolkit includes specific suggestions on how to use Fair Housing Grants. The goal is to provide associations with ideas and help staff easily activate those initiatives.
5. Advance Your Understanding Through Training.
NAR’s ACT! Fair Housing Plan provides trainings and resources to help you prevent discrimination in real estate. Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing is an NAR certificate course that helps real estate professionals interrupt stereotypical thinking so they can avoid fair housing pitfalls and provide equal professional service to every customer or client.
Fairhaven is NAR’s fair housing simulation training for REALTORS® that uses the power of storytelling to help members identify, prevent, and address discriminatory practices in real estate. Inspired by real stories, this innovative online experience has agents work against the clock to sell homes in the fictional town of Fairhaven, while confronting discrimination in the homebuying process. The training provides customized feedback that learners can apply to daily business interactions.