HGAR to Hold Broker Event on New Fair Housing Regulations on March 18
Mary Prenon | February 2020
TARRYTOWN—The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors will hold its first Broker/Owner/Manager seminar of 2020 on March 18, from 9:30 to 11:30 AM at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown. The event will focus on the new Fair Housing Regulations, following the recent published reports of substantial fair housing violations on Long Island as a result of a three-year investigation.
Hosted by Dorothy Botsoe and Leah Caro, Co-Chairs of the newly-created HGAR Fair Housing Committee Task Force, the program will include the current status of new Fair Housing Regulations and tips for conducting a Fair Housing office meeting. Jana Courier, HGAR’s new Director of Member Engagement, will present information on HGAR’s Fair Housing Broker/Owner/Manager Toolkit.
“Housing is a right and everyone deserves to live where ever they want to,” said Botsoe. “Our job as Realtors is not to be gatekeepers, but rather facilitators of the process. One of my goals of this meeting is to have a frank discussion with brokers about fair housing and what it means and to make sure our agents and offices are compliant.”
Botsoe explains that a fair housing agent is one who works with the consumer to advocate for them in looking for property in the areas where they want to live. “Agents should exemplify ethical business practices and abide by the Realtor Code of Ethics,” she adds.
Caro, who also serves as the HGAR Legislative Council Chair, notes, “Real estate licensees have an obligation not just to comply with Fair Housing laws, but to affirmatively promote and further them. Real Estate brokers are on the front lines of these efforts, providing the tools, language and forward-thinking that their sales agents need to make sure every buyer and seller, tenant and landlord, is given every opportunity to which they are entitled.”
Last month, the Leadership Team of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) unanimously passed its “Fair Housing Plan” known as “ACT,” “emphasizing (A)ccountability, (C)ulture Change, and (T)raining” to ensure America’s 1.4 million Realtors are doing everything possible to protect housing rights in America.
NAR also met with Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who agreed to work with NAR in a joint public service campaign to address fair housing.
Locally, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new regulations that were approved by the New York State Real Estate Board at the end of 2019. Among the new mandates are enhanced disclosures by real estate professionals to help ensure that prospective home buyers, renters, sellers and landlords receive ample information about their rights and protections under New York State law.
“We cannot afford to live in glass houses, and I firmly believe we must constantly re-enforce our collective obligations under the fair housing laws as real estate professionals,” added Richard Haggerty, HGAR CEO. “In my opinion, this obligation goes beyond the law and the Realtor Code of Ethics—this is a matter of a deep personal commitment that every Realtor must have to ensure that they are not the barrier to a buyer or tenant living wherever they wish to live.”
Brokers may register for this event at www.HGAR.com.