HGAR Launches ‘Fair Housing Challenge’ Initiative In Observance of National Fair Housing Month

Mary Prenon | March 31, 2021

WHITE PLAINS—The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors has announced it is launching its “Fair Housing Challenge” initiative in observance of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s “National Fair Housing Month” for April.

HGAR’s “Fair Housing Challenge” has been distributed to its 13,000 Realtor members stretching from Manhattan to Orange County, and consists of three segments—a simulated exercise in fair housing, an Implicit Bias Training video and an “At Home with Diversity” online certification course.

“As an association, we are committed to ensuring that all of our members practice fair housing in all of their transactions,” said Crystal Hawkins-Syska, HGAR President. “In fact, our theme this year is ‘the American Promise,’ which represents our dedication to helping all people realize the American dream of home ownership.”

In the “Fairhaven” online simulation, provided by the National Association of Realtors, members visit this fictional town, playing the role of an agent working against the clock to close four deals. As they interact with clients and colleagues in each scenario, they will confront some form of discrimination—based on race, national origin, disability, familial status, sexual orientation or gender identity. The scenarios in Fairhaven are inspired by real fair housing cases, and by conversations held with NAR members.

HGAR Fair Housing Challenge

The Implicit Bias Training video helps Realtors understand how our unconscious brains categorize information and stereotypes, and offers practical tools to override hidden biases. The workshop offers many “de-biasing” practices that not only help to reduce bias, but also improve relationships with people.

Finally, the “At Home with Diversity” (AHWD) certification course teaches Realtors how to work effectively with diverse populations and build business success in today’s multicultural real estate market.

“Our association has always believed in educating our Realtors about the vital importance of fair housing and we remain committed to upholding the principles of the Fair Housing Act,” added Richard Haggerty, HGAR CEO.

HUD’s campaign includes efforts to end housing discrimination and raise awareness for fair housing rights in communities throughout the nation.

In 2018, the Fair Housing Act celebrated its 50th anniversary. The legislation is designed to protect Americans from discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on color, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability and family status.

The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors is a not-for-profit trade association representing more than 13,000 real estate professionals in Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties. It is the second-largest Realtor association in New York, and one of the largest in the United States.

Mary Prenon
HGAR, Director of Communications