As the leading advocate for homeownership and housing issues, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) joins the nation in observing the 45th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap. Leading the way on Fair Housing issues, NAR and its members also support equal opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation, incorporating that support into the REALTOR® Code of Ethics that turned 100 years old this year.
Understanding that the sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in his or her lifetime, and that well over half of real estate consumers represent multicultural communities, Fair Housing is simply a way of doing business for REALTORS®. Brokers and their agents treat their customers without discrimination, but also expect non-discrimination from their colleagues.
REALTORS®’ unwavering commitment to Fair Housing starts the first day of their NAR membership as they pledge to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Code of Ethics. Specifically, Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS® and is also a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing.
Demonstrating more than mere compliance with the law, REALTORS® recognize the rights and responsibilities the home seller, home seeker, and real estate professional all have. NAR supports equal opportunity with the Fair Housing Program, which provides resources and guidance to REALTORS® in ensuring ongoing equal professional services for all people. From diversity training and grants to partnerships and reporting acts of discrimination, REALTORS® recognize the benefits of their commitment to leading the Fair Housing way.
Brokers and their agents and REALTOR® Associations further emphasize their commitment and leadership in Fair Housing issues in many ways, including:
• Encouraging their city to issue a Proclamation for April as Fair Housing month
• Sponsoring a local Fair Housing Month poster contest
• Publishing and sharing the REALTOR® Fair Housing Declaration in their offices and/or Association
Understanding how to best work with and serve diverse consumers, REALTORS® are empowered to succeed and expand their business opportunities. With Fair Housing as a way of doing business for REALTORS®, the government has not created onerous acts or laws. NAR members continue to build their business based on their strengths and market-specific customization—all in support of the belief that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.
-For more information on NAR’s Fair Housing Program, visit www.realtor.org/programs/fair-housing-program.
-For more information on the National Fair Housing Alliance, visit www.nationalfairhousing.org/.
-If you suspect discrimination: Call the Local Board of REALTORS®: Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing. Local Boards of REALTORS® have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics through professional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where a violation of the Code of Ethics is proven to have occurred.
-Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may be filed with the nearest office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by contacting them at http://www.hud.gov.