RISMEDIA, April 7, 2010—As outspoken supporters for fair housing issues and homeownership, Realtors will join the nation in recognizing “Fair Housing Month” this April.
Signed into law in 1968 and amended in 1988, the Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin. Realtors work tirelessly to support this law, as well as ensure the benefits of homeownership are available to everyone.
“Realtors are committed to bringing America home,” said National Association of Realtors President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. “NAR’s members work hard to build communities and an environment where everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, sex or disability can choose where they want to live.”
Through the years NAR has developed education on diversity and fair housing laws for its members. These programs and resources have educated Realtors on the importance of inclusive housing practices and the promotion of minority homeownership.
One program, At Home with Diversity, is a comprehensive diversity training course for members. The program provides demographics and statistics that help participants understand their local areas, marketing strategies and guidelines, as well as exercises to build diversity awareness. In celebration of Fair Housing Month, NAR will waive the course fee during the entire month of April for any local or state Realtor association that sponsors the course.
NAR will also implement a new course that examines the role Realtors can play in affordable housing. The course will provide guidance on how to expand opportunities to benefit home buyers as well as entire communities. The course will be available to Realtors in May during NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C.
“NAR has expanded and implemented fair housing education, programs, and resources for members because Realtors believe homeownership is an investment in everyone’s future,” said Golder. “And Realtors across the country pledge to stay committed to this cause.”
Realtors also strongly support programs that help improve the quality of a neighborhood as a whole while also promoting diversity. As a sponsor of the School of the Future Design Competition, NAR encourages middle school students to redesign their schools to create better learning places that are environmentally responsive and are assets to their neighborhoods. Realtors serve as mentors to students and as judges at the regional and national level.
In addition, NAR provides funds to state and local Realtor associations that promote diversity, housing opportunities, and smart growth. The Ira Gribin Workforce Housing Grants are awarded to state Realtor associations to promote workforce housing initiatives. The NAR Diversity Initiative Grant Program provides up to $5,000 in matching funds for activities that reinforce the role of Realtors in diverse communities. Grants for programs that support the mission of NAR’s Realtors Housing Opportunity Program are available through the NAR Housing Opportunity Fund. Associations can also receive financial resources for programs and activities that promote Realtors as leaders in improving their communities by advancing smart growth.
For more information, visit www.realtor.org.