The 50thÂ anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, declining African-American homeownership, gentrification and creative solutions were top of mind for many of the 10,000 people attending the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 48th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., including REALTORSÂ®Â and NAR Advocacy staff.
NAR’sÂ Federal Political CoordinatorsÂ are leveraging this Annual Legislative Conference, or ALC, as an opportunity to network with their Member of Congress, industry professionals and other small business owners. This specially-selected group of 535 REALTORSÂ®Â serve as the voice and face of real estate to federal lawmakers and play a pivotal role in REALTORÂ®Â outreach. They work closely with Members of Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus, along with NAR’s D.C.-based lobbyists and regulatory staff, to advance shared goals for the African-American community. In past years, NAR has joined hundreds of other organizations and businesses to sponsor conference activities and events.
“This year, as we recognize the 50thÂ anniversary the Fair Housing Act, the National Association of REALTORSÂ®Â remains committed to working with groups like the Congressional Black Caucus and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to advance policies that remove barriers to African-American homeownership in the United States,” says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “That includes a collaborative partnership, from both the private and public sectors, to ensure the Fair Housing Act is serving its core purpose as intended by Congress.”
Just two years after the Fair Housing Act was passed, the African-American homeownership rate sat at 41.6 percent. Today, African-American homeownership remains at 41.6 percent, the lowest rate among all racial groups. For this reason, NAR is committed to working with NAREB, the Urban Institute and other partners to remove barriers to and encourage African-American homeownership.
“Not only is Fair Housing integral to the ethical commitment of our members, as outlined in the REALTORÂ®Â Code of Ethics, it is critical to our ability to serve our customers, clients and the community,” Mendenhall says. “REALTORSÂ® look forward to continuing to work to ensure affordable and sustainable housing opportunities are available for Americans in every corner of this country.”
The impact of civil and social movements over the last 50 years has played a major role in changing the trajectory of American history. This year’s ALC theme, “The Dream Still Demands,” focused on the influence and legacy of these moments, while uplifting present-day champions in the fight for racial equality, justice and freedom in all arenas, including housing.
NAR’s diversity partner, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, co-hosted this year’s session, titled “50-year Journey: The Fair Housing Act to the Current State of Housing in Black America.” Moderated by REALTORÂ®Â and NAREB president Jeffrey Hick, the two-hour session featured keynote speaker Richard Rothstein, the Economic Policy Institute’s Distinguished Fellow and author ofÂ “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.”Â Panelists included Mark Alston, a REALTORÂ® and Chairman of the NAREB’s Public Affairs Committee.
NAR’s Federal Political Coordinators involved in the events included Erin Brown of New Jersey; Sharon Middlebrooks of Texas; Nykea Pippion of Illinois; Chandra Patterson of Virginia; Ron Mazier of Louisiana; and Gwen Wynn of Maryland. These REALTORSÂ® coordinate with Representatives Donald Payne, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Bobby Rush, Bobby Scott, Cedric Richmond and Elijah Cummings, respectively.
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.Â
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