40 Years Later, REALTORS Remain Vigilant About Fair Housing
As America celebrates the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act this month, REALTORS® continue to be outspoken advocates for fair housing, working with home buyers and sellers to ensure they receive equal access to affordable housing and homeownership.
The Fair Housing Act protects the basic right of all Americans to pursue the dream of homeownership, free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin. NAR demonstrates its strong commitment to fair housing through partnerships with real estate diversity partners, education, and grant and award programs.
“REALTORS® build communities and play a vital role in advancing fair housing laws and improving access to affordable housing,” said NAR President Dick Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, CA. “NAR and its 1.3 million members pledge to continue our work educating home buyers and homeowners in our communities about fair housing laws, discrimination and predatory lending practices, making the dream of homeownership viable for all Americans.”
NAR is working with Congress to make permanent the new FHA and conforming loan limits, mandated by the economic stimulus package, so that Americans can access affordable financing in all areas of the country. REALTORS® also continue to push for a stronger, more flexible FHA program, to give more first-time home buyers access to affordable and safe financing options.
For the past decade, NAR has been educating REALTORS® about being sensitive to and aggressive in meeting the homeownership needs of a diverse society through its “At Home with Diversity” program. More than 25,000 REALTORS® have completed the course. In celebration of Fair Housing Month, NAR is waiving the At Home with Diversity® program fee for any local or state REALTOR® association that sponsors the course in April. REALTORS® can also save 50 percent off the online At Home with Diversity® course this month.
NAR also embraces fair housing by recognizing the efforts of individuals and organizations that advance minority homeownership. NAR joins together with five real estate diversity partners in sponsoring the HOPE Awards (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone). The awards showcase exceptional individuals and organizations that are working to increase minority homeownership, revitalize communities and expand affordable housing opportunities.
In 2007, NAR proudly contributed $1 million to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project. The memorial is due to open on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 2009.
In addition, NAR’s Community Outreach Department provides financial resources to local and state REALTOR® associations for programs and activities that advance smart growth, diversity and housing opportunities. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded twice a year; more than $239,000 was awarded in 2007.
The National Assn. of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.