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RE: Real Estate: April is Fair Housing Month

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Commentary and current events from the National Association of Realtors®

REALTORS® are ardent supporters of fair housing, working every day on the front lines with buyers and sellers in providing equal and affordable housing for all Americans. In recognition of these efforts, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) salutes Fair Housing Month, which commemorates the 39th anniversary of the passage of the U.S. Fair Housing Act.

"NAR is committed to fighting discrimination and promoting equality in our increasingly multicultural society," says Kyle Lambert London, community and diversity representative, NAR. "Education and awareness are key to advancing fair-housing laws, and these are areas where brokers can become very involved. By infusing organizational goals and objectives with ideals such as diversity and inclusion, brokers lead by example in getting their agents on board."

Fair Housing Tools for Brokers
Through its REALTOR BenefitsSM program, NAR offers a number of tools that brokers can use in their weekly staff meetings to educate agents. Winner of a 2006 Bronze Telly Award, the 24-minute "Fair Housing" video focuses on timely fair-housing topics and the complex issues presented by fair housing regulations.

NAR's two pocket guides, Fair Housing Sales and Fair Housing Rental, provide companions to the video. Written for brokers and agents, Fair Housing Sales answers the most commonly asked questions from buyers and sellers related to housing discrimination. A must for anyone managing or leasing real estate, Fair Housing Rental covers fair housing laws, the responsibilities of real estate professionals, and checklists to ensure proper procedures.

NAR also publishes a Fair Housing Handbook. The most comprehensive resource in the industry, it includes suggested office procedures, background on regulations, samples of the HUD Equal Housing Opportunity poster logo, equal service report forms, information on the NAR/HUD partnership, a self-assessment questionnaire and more. This manager tool is a must for every brokerage.

For more NAR resources and information on how to celebrate April as Fair Housing Month, visit www.realtor.org/diversity and click on "Fair Housing."

Education Programs
NAR is at the forefront of developing fair housing training programs. More than 22,000 Realtors have completed the award-winning At Home with Diversity course, which trains them to work effectively with diversity in today's market. Another course, Managing Diversity for the Broker/Owner/Manager (www.crb.com/education), addresses many of the same concepts as the At Home with Diversity course, with a specific focus on the needs of this specialized group, such as recruiting diverse agents and office staff, tools for risk management, and increasing market share through multicultural outreach efforts.

NAR further supports the Realtor's role in promoting equal and affordable housing through a variety of other programs, including the Cultural Diversity Program and a number of outreach initiatives. NAR's Smart Growth program provides Realtors with resources to encourage diversity in our neighborhoods and brings people together across racial and class lines. NAR's Housing Opportunity Program initiative positions Realtors as leaders in identifying, developing, advocating and promoting business opportunities, programs, products and resources that help ensure an adequate supply of housing opportunities for all. As one of the sponsors of the HOPE Awards (Homeownership Participation for Everyone) program, NAR helps advance fair housing by recognizing organizations and individuals who have advanced minority homeownership.

NAR is also a proud sponsor of the Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, which honors a man who dedicated his life to championing freedom, opportunity and justice. The Memorial will be located on the Tidal Basin near the FDR Memorial and on a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Scheduled for completion in 2008, the Memorial embraces a vision of human dignity and equality for people of all races, colors, creeds and countries of origin. King's message of equality is mirrored in the principles of NAR and all of its members who embrace the ideal of equal opportunity in housing. To learn more about the Memorial, visit www.mlkmemorial.org.

Re:sources
www.realtor.org/diversity
www.crb.com/education

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