Realtors Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Fair Housing Act

Real Estate In-Depth | April 2018

April is Fair Housing Month

WASHINGTON—The National Association of Realtors is joining its 1.3 million members across the country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and further advocate for inclusion and diversity in the nation’s communities. NAR is also recognizing April as Fair Housing Month, with education and events for members and state and local Realtor associations throughout the month.

As a leading advocate for homeownership, NAR and its member associations, including the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, are a strong supporter of the Fair Housing Act, legislation passed in 1968 prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status and national origin.

As a part of the yearlong 50th anniversary commemoration, Realtors are looking back and acknowledging NAR’s changing role in the fight for fair housing, understanding how the nation is constantly improving its commitment to fair housing and leading efforts to further advance fair housing policy issues.

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor from Columbia, MO and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, said, “Not only is fair housing an important ethical commitment of our members, as outlined in the Code of Ethics, it is critical to our ability to serve our customers, clients and the community.”

In 1972, NAR began providing fair housing training materials and education to its members, and in 1988, NAR supported the expansion of the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on familial status and handicap or disability.

NAR continued to ramp up its support and provide education and materials to assist local and state Realtor associations through the 1980s and 1990s to help keep members apprised of their obligations to uphold fairness principles on a daily basis.

Earlier this decade, Realtors further demonstrated their all-inclusive support of ensuring fair housing opportunities by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their code of ethics. Since 2016, NAR has sought changes in the Fair Housing Act to also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Looking ahead, Realtors will continue this effort and advocate for more expansive fair housing policies that support access to housing for all.

During the Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 14-19, in Washington, D.C., NAR will focus on fair housing, with events and speakers that will acknowledge the past fight for fair housing and embrace the future and further advancing fair housing policies.

Local and state Realtor associations across the country are also commemorating the yearlong 50th anniversary and Fair Housing Month through events focused on increasing access to homeownership, revitalizing their communities and expanding affordable housing opportunities. See Real Estate In-Depth and hgar.com for updates on HGAR’s Fair Housing-related initiatives.