Fair Housing

On Common Ground: Summer 2018

Fair housing is more than just anti-discrimination. It is critical that our society provide opportunities for all people to achieve wellbeing and reach their potential. Differences in access to health care, healthy food, and a clean environment have provided barriers that have disproportionately affected people of color and the poor. In this issue of On Common Ground, we discuss the multiple components that we need to address to achieve social equity — providing the opportunities and pathways to success so that all Americans can prosper.


Learning from Our Past

Redevelopment Without Displacement

Planning with an Equity Lens

Healthier and More Equitable Communities

Bringing Broadband to Underserved Communities

Working to Make Healthy Food Accessible

Universal Design & Inclusive Mobility

Home Accessibility Means a Place to Age

Environmental Justice through Strong Partnerships

REALTORS® Take Action



Questions? Contact Laura Pedro at 202-383-1108.

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Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® Uses Diversity Grant to Commemorate Historic 50th Anniversaries

Fifty years ago, the Fair Housing Act was signed into federal law just seven days after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in the city of Memphis. As both these events are being commemorated around the nation, the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR), mindful of its particular association with them, designed a program to honor Dr. King’s legacy and bring awareness to the importance of the landmark legislation in greater Memphis. Called the MAAR “Day of Unity,” its impact will reach far beyond the powerful day-long event.

Kate Reddan, Events Coordinator of the 3,700-member association, credits an exceptionally passionate and resourceful leadership with the success of the program, and the vision that brought it into being. “Lauren Wiuff, our 2018 President, along with the Board of Directors, wanted the dual-commemoration to be part of their strategic plan, and to be executed in the most educational and inspiring way, in order to have the strongest impact on members and the community.” Working with Cultural Diversity Committee Chair Cassandra Bell-Warren, Fair and Affordable Housing Committee Chair Deborah Williams, and Blight Taskforce Chair Brenda Hampton, with the support and insight of MAAR CEO Melanie Blakeney, Wiuff developed a plan that incorporated a members’ two-mile Freedom Walk to the Lorraine Motel where King was killed; a Fair Housing luncheon, featuring poignant videos of members reminiscing about the passage of the historic act; and a tour of the National Civil Rights Museum.

The program was funded by a REALTOR® Party Diversity Initiative Grant, and just putting the grant application together, notes Reddan, was a moving experience for all involved. Says Wiuff, “The MAAR Day of Unity brought our membership together to commemorate two historical events: the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event celebrated, honored, and promoted unity and diversity within our membership and the city of Memphis, where, as REALTORS®, we are committed to embracing those principles every day.”

A few weeks later, with funding from the same grant, MAAR sponsored a highly successful Blight Forum & Fair Housing Fair. Billed as an opportunity to tackle the topic of blight and anti-blight initiatives with a panel of experts, it drew a capacity-crowd of members, who then took part in the fair, which featured representatives from the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, the Women’s Council of REALTORS®, Disability Rights Tennessee, Memphis Legal Services, and various lending agencies.

The dedicated members of MAAR aren’t stopping there, says Reddan: the association’s strategic plan for 2018 includes many more activities and events that celebrate diversity, unity, and the fact that “Fair Housing Makes Us Stronger.” In the fall, the committees that have been working on these issues will host a Vision Board event, where members will discuss what they’ve learned and brainstorm ways to carry initiatives forward into 2019.

To learn more about how the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® is bringing people together and shining a light on Fair Housing, Cultural Diversity, and the progress of the Civil Rights Movement, contact Kate Reddan, MAAR Events Coordinator, at 901-818-2435. Also view the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS®’ Commemorating the Fair Housing Act video series.

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Fair Housing Makes US Stronger


April 11 marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the federal Fair Housing Act. This is a momentous occasion for the real estate industry, and a top priority for NAR this year.

The Fair Housing Act helps form the foundation of our business — the right to own property — and our Code of Ethics as REALTORS®. Our commemoration of the Fair Housing Act is vital because it highlights how far we’ve come in promoting equal housing opportunity—both as a society and as an association—and, more importantly, how much work still needs to be done.

It’s been a pleasure to join with our partners and allies for this yearlong commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. We love seeing how engaged our state and local associations have been with proclamations and having Fair Housing themes to their lobby days and conferences. This is only the beginning.

We encourage you to keep up the great work, sharing your Fair Housing stories. At the 2018 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, there are several Fair Housing events and resources to check out. Be sure to sign the poster at the Fair Housing Act display in the lobby of the Marriott Wardman Park. Then pick up your 50th Anniversary Fair Housing Act pin on Wednesday, May 16 or Thursday, May 17 at NAR Booth #1707.  Join us at NAR 360 on Tuesday, May 16 and the General Session with U.S. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver on Wednesday to hear how Fair Housing Makes US Stronger.

Visit to join in the commemoration. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C.



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Fair Housing

NAR provides a number of resources to keep associations up to date on the latest fair housing information for REALTORS®.  Educating and protecting the real estate professional on the best way to serve clients, without regard to race, creed, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or nationality is a key goal of NAR’s and benefits every agent’s bottom line.

Below are some of the ways state and local associations can help their members learn more about fair housing.

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

Fair Housing Make U.S. StrongerNAR’s yearlong commemoration of the 50th  Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act will provide you with information about how this important law enhances your business. You will also have opportunities to advocate for changes to expand protections. As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property your livelihood and business as REALTORS® depends on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity. We encourage you to join NAR in this commitment. Visit to learn more getting involved.



Fair Housing Programs and Resources

Fair Housing Month & Poster

Celebrated each April to commemorate the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act in which U.S. law was established that prohibited discrimination in housing. See more about Fair Housing Month activities and programs that you can implement at your association.

Annually, NAR creates a poster that state and local real estate associations may print, use or distribute to promote the REALTOR® commitment to Fair Housing.  You are authorized to print and distribute the Fair Housing Month Poster.  It can be printed 22 x 17, 14 x 11, or 11 x 8.5.

Show you support equal opportunity in housing by displaying this declaration of following fair housing laws and your commitment to provide professional service with the REALTOR® Fair Housing Declaration.

Fair Housing Poster Contest

Each year state and local REALTOR® Associations sponsor fair housing poster contests with local elementary schools. These contests generally include a specific theme for the year (e.g., Fair Housing for All, Open Hearts – Open Neighborhoods, A Home for Everyone) and incorporate the ideas of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Upon closing of the contest, volunteer/guest judges are brought in to determine a winner. A winner may receive a prize, or a variety of winners may be chosen to go into the following year’s calendar that is produced by the board and distributed to members, customers, and local businesses. You may even offset your costs by obtaining local business sponsors for the event and/or calendar.

The At Home with Diversity® Course

A terrific option for fair housing training, this NAR certificate course contains a major focus on fair housing and discusses the subtleties agents should be aware of when dealing with fair housing issues. In addition to receiving an NAR certificate, attendees can also earn credit toward the CIPS, CRS, and PMN designations. Fair housing continuing education credit is available in many states.  Learn more.

Additional Resources

What Everyone Should Know About Equal Opportunity in Housing
A broad overview of fair housing as it relates to REALTORS® and their clients.

Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Kit

Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP)


Questions? Contact Wendy Penn at 202-383-7504 or Fred Underwood at 202-383-1132.

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Planned diversity initiatives makes good business sense. REALTOR® Associations with well-planned diversity programs create a stronger of community, particularly in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreign-born and minority residents who are moving up the socioeconomic ladder and are buying homes. Ultimately, diversity programs help to ensure the long-term health and stability of the association. Members and association leaders who reflect the demographic make-up of their communities are better positioned to serve those markets.

Without an ethnically representative membership, an association risks becoming isolated and perceived as exclusive. Over time, this can lead to dwindling membership.

Diversity Resources

NAR offers the following resources to associations that want to plan and support diversity and inclusion initiatives and activities, but don’t know how to get started or have come to a crossroads and need some additional assistance to help realize their goals.

Leading With Diversity
This three-hour planning workshop takes associations through a step-by-step process to develop key initiatives, specific for your association, that will help you better serve your members, leaders and clients. The workshop is available free of charge to state and local associations.

Diversity Initiative Grants
Once you have your goals and strategies in place, NAR can provide associations with funding to help realize those goals. NAR provides associations up to $5,000 in matching funds for activities that reinforce the role of REALTORS® as leaders in our increasingly diverse communities, and that extend the benefits of homeownership to more Americans.

Fair Housing
NAR provides a number of resources to keep associations up to date on the latest fair housing information for REALTORS®. Educating and protecting the real estate professional on the best way to serve clients, without regard to race, creed, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or nationality is a key goal of NAR’s and benefits every agent’s bottom line.

Diversity Toolkit for REALTOR® Associations
This toolkit provides association executives and leaders with scores of proven examples of programs and initiatives that have successfully worked to increase the diversity within an association’s membership, leadership and the services that benefit the needs of growing communities. From large boards to smaller associations, you will find programs and ideas that fit your needs and your budget.

Questions? Contact Fred Underwood at 202-383-1132.

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San Diego REALTORS® Open Housing Opportunity Doors for Foreclosure Victims, Minorities and Other Under-served Populations

The Housing Opportunity Committee of the Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (GSDAR) is bringing access to the American dream of home ownership to all: one under-served population at a time.  In fact, GSDAR’s exceptional Housing Opportunity efforts were honored in March in the first round of NAR’s Community Outreach Awards.  From veterans and their families, to minority groups, to homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure and are attempting to re-enter the market, the San Diego REALTORS have been there to open doors to housing opportunities.

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Two Chicago-Area REALTOR® Associations Host Housing Expo and Trolley Tour with Housing Opportunity Grant

The City of Aurora, on the west side of Chicago, has been lauded as a highly livable city.  It has a strong down-payment assistance program, and plenty of affordable housing — yet a high percentage of the employees working in Aurora commute from elsewhere. The 15,000-member Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and the 1,500-member REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley partnered with the city and local lending institutions to get the word out. They used a Housing Opportunity Grant from NAR to host a housing expo and trolley tour they called “Experience Aurora.” The positive results are already appearing!

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