Realtors celebrate 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

WASHINGTON – Jan. 11, 2018 – In 1967, many homebuyers signed a document at closing swearing they would never sell their new home to African Americans. But in 1968, the Fair Housing Act brought fairness to the real estate market and changed everything for a number of minority groups.

Realtors commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act this year, noting that a number of specialized Realtor groups now exist that represent protected classes in the Act (as amended in 1988) to ban "discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status, and national origin."

Realtor groups include:

  • The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB)
  • The Women's Council of Realtors (WCR)
  • The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP)
  • The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA)
  • The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP)

"Together we will raise awareness and create action as we examine community and fair housing issues," says Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2018 president of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). "We will also advocate for changes to the Fair Housing Act to expand fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects our livelihood and business as Realtors."

In addition to protecting U.S. citizens, the Fair Housing Act protects Realtors by guaranteeing a free and open market.

NAR suggests some ways Realtors can get involved in the Fair Housing Act's 50th anniversary celebration:

  • Help your company, community, and local and state association identify and commemorate fair housing history and champions in your state.
  • Submit information about how you're participating in this commemoration on FairHousing.realtor under the "Showcase Stories" tab. Share ideas, learn what others are doing to adapt in your own community, or work with local chapters of our national partners.
  • Examine how access to quality education, health care and economic opportunity intersects with fair housing and property rights in your local area and nationally.
  • Work to support efforts in your community to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®