April is Fair Housing Month. 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.
Learn about five ways you and your association can champion fair housing this month and beyond.
What You Need to Know
NAR hosted a Policy Forum on March 16 titled The Current Housing Market: Implications for Home Buyers and the Economy. The event explored bipartisan solutions to the housing supply and affordability crisis and featured a keynote fireside chat with Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson.
Allegations of appraisal bias have been widespread in the news in recent years, but few cases have resulted in legal clarity. NAR sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on March 29 asking for legal clarification on appraisal discrimination, describing how appraisal bias affects REALTORS®, and detailing NAR’s efforts to help eliminate it.
Rent control initiatives are sweeping across the country, limiting housing supply and exacerbating affordability issues. NAR has joined with four other national trade associations to establish the Housing Solutions Coalition to address this failed housing policy. The Coalition will provide tools and resources to develop campaigns and offer proven, effective alternative solutions on rent control policies and proposals where they arise.
With the support of the REALTOR® Party’s Issues Mobilization program, Illinois REALTORS® went 5-0 in defeating home rule measures across the state in the April 4 elections. These measures have the potential to create a never-ending cycle of property tax increases by preventing voters from having a direct say. Historically, elected officials with home rule powers have also pushed pre-sale inspections that force property owners to pay for costly repairs and approved large increases in transfer taxes. REALTORS® also went 2-0 on ballot measures in Missouri that supported much needed improvements to two local school districts.
The REALTORS® Relief Foundation announced that more than $1.6 million in disaster relief aid was made available to REALTOR® associations in Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, and Oklahoma after tornadoes recently devastated multiple communities across the Southeast and Midwest regions of the country.
The REALTOR® Party At Work
Don’t forget to bookmark NAR’s Washington Report for the latest policy updates.
Overcoming implicit bias is an important step towards achieving fair housing for all, and it starts with recognition. Last year, NAR launched Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing, and several local associations used Fair Housing Grants from the REALTOR® Party to offer the training to their members. From coast to coast – and even offshore – the three-hour course brought a new level of awareness to participating REALTORS®, along with enhanced understanding, communication, and business skills.
Last year, the Johnson County Museum in Overland Park, Kan., mounted an in-depth exhibition exploring redlining’s origins in Kansas City, and how communities across the country still suffer from its legacy. With support from a REALTOR® Party Fair Housing Grant, the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® hosted an evening viewing for its members to learn from this troubling past.
After a long pandemic hiatus, the Land of the Sky Association of REALTORS® used a Fair Housing Grant from the REALTOR® Party to take their outreach at the Blue Ridge Pride festival to the next level. As thousands of festival-goers milled around, many were attracted to the booth filled with colorful treats, swag, and fair housing information – a space the REALTORS® shared with a local nonprofit that helps at-risk LGBTQ youth find shelter.
Midwest City-Del City-Moore Association of REALTORS® Helps Provide Fair Housing Training for Development/Construction Industry and Property Managers
With 250 members and about fifty affiliates, the Midwest City-Del City-Moore Association of REALTORS® in central Oklahoma leverages REALTOR® Party resources to punch way above its weight. With support from a Fair Housing Grant, the local REALTORS® helped provide fair housing training last fall to professionals across the housing industry, including those who design, build, lend, finance, assess, and advise; and those who manage and maintain rental properties.
Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® Supports Underserved Communities through Placemaking Projects
The Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® used REALTOR® Party Placemaking Grants to create two fair housing placemaking projects – one temporary and one permanent – that support underserved communities and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. First, the association created a movable gathering place with fair housing message flags that could be used in multiple locations. Their second and permanent placemaking project is in the works: creating a parklet in an underserved neighborhood.
Resources & Opportunities
The 2023 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings (RLM) are merging with the Riding With the Brand national tour for a once-in-a-generation experience! The inaugural REALTOR® National Block Party will be held on Tuesday, May 9, from 6-9 pm ET at Nationals Park. The invitation list includes all 535 members of Congress, all NAR members attending RLM, and thousands of congressional staff, housing industry representatives, and members of the executive branch. Attendees will have full field and stadium access, including the dugouts and batting cages. Refreshments and live entertainment will be provided. Make sure this party for the ages is on your calendar today!
Register now for NAR’s Facebook Live Event: At What Price? Overcoming Barriers to Homeownership on Tuesday, April 25, at 2:00 p.m. ET., highlighting ongoing barriers to homeownership and recognizing the 2023 NAR Fair Housing Champion Award winners. Let’s work together to be the change and the solution to unfair housing.
Fair Housing is a commitment to honest and impartial professional service. Check yourself and help protect against fair housing violations through continued education. NAR’s ACT! Fair Housing Plan provides fair housing trainings and resources to help you prevent discrimination in real estate.
Are you registered for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings? Don’t miss the Urban Roundtable: Adaptive Reuse – Places of Opportunity on Wednesday, May 10, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. ET. Hear how repurposing existing structures can create new opportunities for residential and economic growth while minimizing impacts on the environment. Featured speakers include Tracy Hadden Loh, Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Phil Aftuck, Director of Investments at the Bernstein Companies.
The Advocacy Resource Guide – Vote, Act, and Invest, REALTOR® Party – includes resources and tools that can help associations reach their advocacy goals and meet Core Standards requirements. State and local REALTOR® association staff can request printed copies for events and conferences by contacting Ted Wright. Requests for printed guides must be submitted two weeks prior to the event.
Share your experience to help mentees unlock their potential in real estate while you expand your influence and impact the industry. Check to see if your association is participating in the program and apply today.
As a NAR member, you hold the right to own a personalized .realtor™ free website. Align yourself with the invaluable REALTOR® brand and automatically increase the value of your business. Secure your .realtor™ name and get a FREE website design specifically tailored to fit your professional needs!