Long Island Board of REALTORS® Fair Housing Campaign Focuses on Access for People with Disabilities

Long Island Board of REALTORS® Fair Housing Campaign Focuses on Access for People with Disabilities

April 2024

The Long Island Board of REALTORS® is on a roll.

In 2022, the NAR-designated mega board – clocking in at over 30K members – launched ‘Home for All of Us,’ a vibrant, public-facing initiative designed to combat housing discrimination through education.  Shining a systematic spotlight on the Fair Housing Act’s protected classes, it began by promoting the Source of Income protections and requirements newly codified by New York State law.  The following year, when the National Fair Housing Trends Report revealed that the most prevalent form of housing discrimination in the U.S. was against people with disabilities, LIBOR knew where its next effort needed to be focused.  A Fair Housing grant (mega board) from the REALTOR® Party helped them to get it done.

This new phase within the Home for All of Us initiative spells out the relevant laws and regulations in a suite of resources accessed through a dedicated website:  www.homeforallofus.org.   Covering essential topics such as reasonable modifications, reasonable accommodations, and service animals, as well as real estate office and website accessibility, the page is an authoritative guide for housing professionals seeking to understand how they can best serve people with disabilities.

It is also an easy access, user-friendly resource for the general public.  As LIBOR CEO Doreen Spagnuolo explains, “I feel strongly that as a not-for-profit, since we have this information, we have the responsibility to educate, and advocate for, and bring clarity to consumers.”  She has been promoting the new campaign in interviews with local media and in-person visits to many of the 2,600 brokers’ offices in the three counties served by the association (“It will take a while!”); LIBOR is also in the process of hiring a public relations firm to help get the message out about the new resource and is actively developing the consumer side of its own website.  “Transparency is extremely important, and we are doing what it takes to be a trusted resource for buyers and sellers, as well as our members,” says Spagnuolo.

Marlo Paventi, LIBOR’s Senior Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, adds that the new resources regarding fair housing for people with disabilities were also shared in the board’s quarterly news email to county, town, and city government officials.  “We are constantly in touch with them, and always reaffirming our commitment to serve.  These ongoing fair housing efforts have also afforded us a great opportunity to create and strengthen relationships with other groups and agencies, like Erase Racism and Long Island Housing Partnership.  Because we are connected with them in our common cause, we can sit at the table and share what we’re doing.”

LIBOR is grateful for the Mega Board Grant program that allows it to think big in its fair housing efforts, and it hopes to ‘pay it forward’ by establishing resource models that other boards can easily replicate, including re-branding the colorful graphics and collateral pieces of the Home for All of Us initiative.  “We’re more than just REALTORS®, we’re community activists, and we’re lucky to have the resources to do this.  The more we can push this information, the more we can show our value to the membership and the public,” says Paventi.  “We keep going, promoting these protected classes, for as long as NAR continues to support this important work!”

To learn more about how the Long Island Board of REALTORS® is working to uphold fair housing in its region, contact CEO Doreen Spagnuolo at dspagnuolo@lirealtor.com; or Marlo Paventi, Senior Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, at MPaventi@LIRealtor.com or 631.661.4800 ext. 306.

To access the resources they’ve developed and are making available to all, visit https://www.homeforallofus.org/disability/

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