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Real Estate Associations

The state of fair housing and of discrimination in housing

Of the 2,300 respondents, more than 80 percent said they had not encountered housing discrimination in their market.

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The National Association of REALTORS is nothing if not proactive. According to an article on EconomistOutlook, in early 2016, when several “anecdotal stories of discrimination occurring in the market pointed to violations of Fair Housing laws” began to trickle in to the office, it seemed like a great opportunity for some investigative reporting.

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The result? A survey REALTOR® Magazine conducted with NAR members in February 2016 dealing with housing discrimination. Of the 2,300 respondents, more than 80 percent said they had not encountered housing discrimination in their market.

Specifically, the first question in the survey reveals that 83 percent of NAR members said they had never seen discrimination in their market area.

Sight unseen?

That’s reflects positively on the industry as a whole. But in an article entitled “Fair Housing is in Your Hands,” NAR says that fair housing challenges remain. Violations and more importantly – government efforts to enforce the law – continue. “Nearly 10 percent of respondents to the survey said they had encountered discrimination in their markets, 18 percent of those saying it happened within the past month or earlier this year [in 2016].”

When the survey asked how often REALTORS see a potential fair housing issue in their transactions, “Ninety-One (91) percent said never or almost never.” Ninety-nine percent of REALTORS said that they talk with clients to address the potential issue if it arises. Ninety-nine percent also said they had never failed an ethics complaint regarding a fair housing issue.

For the better good

Furthermore, the survey also found that 64 percent of NAR members proactively discuss fair housing issues with buyers and sellers.

Seventy percent of REALTORS said they bring up the topic of fair housing with clients, and that buyers and sellers rarely or never initiate the conversation themselves (83 percent).

And so it goes

No reason to kid ourselves: Taking the first step toward buying or even renting a home can be a daunting task. While it appears that discrimination is not widespread in the current housing market, it does not mean that it has been eliminated. Education may be [one of] the key. Realtors need to take the time to educate and explain market related issues to consumers and the consumer needs to do his/her due diligence and ask questions whenever necessary.

NAR feels its REALTOR members recognize the importance of safeguarding the market from unfair practices as “It benefits the greatest number in the community.”

Note from the Editor: Internally, we struggled with this study because surveying of one side of the population involved (agents) does not necessarily settle or decide the issue. That being said, we do feel this is an important topic and will continue to update you as information becomes available.

#FairHousing

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

National Association of Realtors

NAR Announces 2021 Leadership Academy Class

[REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS] NAR offers annual Leadership Academy to help participants enrich their leadership skills. Applications for the 2022 academy opens December 2, 2020.

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Leadership Academy identifies, inspires, and mentors emerging leaders from local and state levels. The Leadership Academy aims to give participants the opportunity to enrich their leadership skills while learning the history, structure, and inner-workings of NAR leadership. The 11-month program includes twelve interactive online courses and in-person experiences designed to prepare graduates to represent the 1.4 million NAR members.

2021 NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and broker/owner of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty said, “NAR’s Leadership Academy provides one-on-one experiences and tools that equip volunteer leaders for the critical roles they will play shaping American real estate in the years ahead.” Oppler continued, “Volunteer leaders are vital to our industry, and by better understanding the needs and strategies of our association, Leadership Academy graduates can affect change at the national, state and local levels of this organization.”

The program runs from January through November, concluding at the 2021 REALTORS® Conference and Expo in San Diego, CA. Course summaries, applications, and resources are available at the NAR website. The application period for the 2022 class will be open from December through March 2020.

The 25 Realtors® selected from across the country to participate in the 2021 NAR Leadership Academy are:

Brian Anzur (CO)
Michelle Bailey (ID)
Jaime Caballero (FL)
Cheri Daniels (WA)
Ryan De Guzman (Guam)
Nina Dosanjh (CA)
Gaspar Flores (IL)
Andrew Fristoe (VA)
Karem Gallo Garcia (KS)
Christy Gessler (TX)
Michael Gobber (IL)
Alisha Harrison (WA)
Cynthia Haydon (FL)
Michael Inman (KY)
Bakhsish Khalsa (CA)
William Klein (MO)
John LeTourneau (IL)
John McPherson (NC)
Gonzalo Mejia (FL)
Eileen Oldroyd (CA)
Lorena Pena (TX)
Jairo Rodriguez (NJ)
Derek Sprague (CA)
Peggy Todd (VA)
Heather Zimmaro (OH)

The session topics participants will cover during this course include: How NAR Leads Real Estate from Washington, D.C.; Leadership Skills: Basic- Intermediate; Becoming a Better Spokesperson; Leading NAR From Chicago, IL; and Building Your Legacy: Taking the Next Steps in Your Leadership Journey.  In person meetings are designed to provide opportunities for open dialogue and will be located in Washington D.C., Chicago, and San Diego.

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Real Estate Associations

New webinars on preventing property abandonment and vacancies

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) NAR is running a four-part series to help real estate professionals be part of the solution to prevent building abandonment and vacancies.

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Starting on Aug. 11, and running through Sept. 8, NAR is offering a four-part webinar series to help real estate agents prevent building vacancies and abandonment in light of businesses and people being unable to pay their mortgage and rent.

NAR is collaborating with local government officials and the Center for Community Progress to address the impending swell of property vacancy and abandonment in the United States, as the pandemic rolls on, and businesses and people are scrambling to pay their property expenses. Evictions, business closures, and abandonments have begun, both state and federal government seem to be floundering at coming up with a single, consistent way to prevent mass evictions and related problems.

NAR has been investing in these conversations and trying to help developers and landlords become part of the solution to prevent vacant and abandoned buildings from staying empty and according to the NAR press release, “The program and webinar series are part of a collaboration with the Center for Community Progress, whose mission is to foster strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties become assets for neighbors and neighborhoods.”

This webinar series is a continuation of the Transforming Neighborhoods initiative. In this initiative, NAR Realtors are working with community partners to explore and address the underlying reasons properties are abandoned and remain vacant. They want to help prevent this scenario, while supporting community transformation, by putting a plan to rehabilitate buildings and create assets for the communities they are in, thereby helping the neighborhoods become or remain healthier and more vibrant.

NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA., elaborates on the role Realtors® play in rebuilding communities in the aftermath of the pandemic.

“As the nation grapples with the economic fallout of this pandemic alongside a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address inequity and injustice in our society, Realtors® have been instrumental in helping our neighborhoods move forward while emphasizing that a better future begins with stable communities and equal access to housing for all Americans.”

While the first part of the four-part series has aired Tuesday, here is the remaining schedule:

Code Enforcement – A Tool for Preventing Vacancy and Abandonment
August 25, 2020; 2 p.m. EDT

WEBINAR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Lessons from 2008 Great Recession and assumptions for the future
  • What is strategic code enforcement
  • How can strategic code enforcement prevent property decline caused by the COVID-19 crisis
  • Using neighborhood conditions to inform effective, efficient and equitable code enforcement strategies
  • REALTORS® as partners in preventing vacancy and abandonment

Transferring Vacant and Abandoned Properties
September 1, 2020; 2 p.m. EDT

WEBINAR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Making the connections between property tax enforcement, vacancy, and neighborhood stabilization
  • Efficient, effective, and equitable delinquent property tax enforcement systems
  • Innovative uses of code lien systems
  • REALTORS® working with local government

Land Banking – Returning Properties to Productive Use
September 8, 2020; 2 p.m. EDT

WEBINAR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Land banking – what is it?
  • How land banks can be most effective in community revitalization
  • Land banking as a tool neighborhood stabilization during economic crisis
  • Successful partnerships between REALTORS® and land banks

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Real Estate Associations

NAR urges HUD to withdraw misguided proposal on equal housing

(REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS) NAR calls on HUD to reconsider their position concerning who can submit claims, there may be too many faulty claims and slow the help to those in need.

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The NAR requests that The HUD withdraw its amended proposal of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard as deeply rooted systemic discrimination has the potential to result in tons of unintentional inequity claims.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received a request yesterday from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) asking them to withdraw its recent proposal amending the “Disparate Impact” rule.

NAR believes that while the proposal is a needed and welcomed change, written in August 2019 to amend the HUD’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standards meant to close a segregational gap, (highly-segregated neighborhoods, unfair treatment for people of color, credit inequality, etc.), the proposal creates separation instead of unity between U.S citizens and the NAR, it’s businesses and Realtors, by implementing rules that allow for an overwhelming amount of disparate impact claims.

In support of the August proposal, HUD’s secretary Ben Carson stated, “There is a lack of affordable housing in America today. This proposed rule is intended to increase legal clarity and promote the production and availability of housing in all areas while making sure every person is treated fairly under the law.”

The change to the Disparate Act opens the door for more claims reporting unequal treatment and/or discrimination intentionally. The theory here is not that deeply rooted systemic oppression can be stopped, but that maybe the easier accessibility to submit a claim will force Realtors to make lawfully supported decisions based on industry standards instead of opinions, ultimately holding Realtors who ignore ethical guidelines accountable.

Without the organization receiving the necessary tools and education required to make an impactful change, it will likely result in an overwhelming amount of unintentional discrimination claims. It is also important that the NAR holds the ability to protect its Realtors, their liberty, and rights to a free real estate market.

While it might seem ridiculous of them to ask the HUD to work collaboratively on the Disparate Act in order to provide equal housing, and fair treatment and support of both the NAR and U.S citizens, it’s a necessary business move on behalf of the NAR.

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