Fair Housing Month: Ending Discrimination

April 1, 2006

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast with deadly force late last year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Ad Council in a nationwide campaign asked Americans to be alert to discrimination of the disaster victims, a majority of whom were minorities. The reason: Almost 40 years after passage of the landmark federal Fair Housing Act, one in five African Americans and one in three disabled persons still face housing discrimination in the United States, according to HUD.

“Americans [displaced by the storm] deserve our best, not a door closed in their face because of the color of their skin,” HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson said at the launch of the campaign.

In concert with HUD, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is also upping its fair housing efforts. In April, Fair Housing Month, state and local associations of REALTORS® will receive a fact-filled mailer encouraging them to remind members not to take fair housing for granted. What the mailer has for members:

  • A pull-out poster to help REALTORS® keep fair housing in their line of sight at all times
  • A summary of the fair housing and antidiscrimination provisions in the REALTORS® Code of Ethics
  • Ideas for promoting fair housing locally
  • Directions for accessing resources, including the text of the Fair Housing Act, that can keep REALTORS® on the right side of sometimes complicated fair housing and antidiscrimination laws
  • Application information for up to $3,000 in matching funds from the NAR State and Local Diversity Initiative Grant program. The money helps associations offset costs to operate programs that help REALTORS® take the lead in building cultural diversity in their communities

For April only, associations and brokers sponsoring NAR’s antidiscrimination course, “At Home with Diversity,” will have the $150 course fee waived. If your association or brokerage isn’t already a program sponsor, you’ll still need to pay the $150 sponsorship fee.