April 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year, REALTORS® and Associations around the country recognize the significance of this event and reaffirm the commitment we each share to upholding fair housing law and offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.
America was built on diversity. I am not only talking about – or focusing on – skin color or nationality. I’m talking about thinking and ideas.
Our country was born from radical thinking. Birthed by people who wanted to think and live differently.
The Fair Housing Act was one of many examples of bold leaders saying, “we can’t continue to operate the way we always have.”
In addition to the still-heated civil rights efforts across the country, this legislation was also being fueled by the growing number of African-American and Hispanic members of the military who had fought and died in the Vietnam War, and on the home front they and their families were having trouble renting or purchasing homes in certain residential areas because of their race or national origin.
In 1968, this proposed civil rights legislation expanded on, and was a follow-up to, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While the bill’s original goal was to extend federal protection to civil rights workers, it was eventually expanded to address the growing racial discrimination in housing.
Title VIII of the proposed Civil Rights Act officially got the name Fair Housing Act, and it prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin and sex.
The protection and promotion of homeownership for all has become a banner waved by the real estate industry.
The Fine Print: The National Association of REALTORS® opposes discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin. This policy is embodied in NAR’s Code of Ethics. NAR also authorizes sanctions in response to a finding that a member has violated any fair housing law, including local and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. NAR policy is to support equal opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and the NAR Code of Ethics was amended in 2010 and 2013, to include this updated policy in the Code of Ethics.
The Summary: Our duty, in the real estate industry, is to protect and promote the rights of all, and to serve equally the needs of all. Regardless.
Every year, Dayton REALTORS® teams up with the great folks at the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center to put on a wonderful day of education on a wide-range of fair housing topics. This year’s anniversary event will again not disappoint. It will be at Sinclair Community College on April 5th, and we will be putting out more information soon.
I am very excited to listen to the keynote speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, a writer for The New York Times Magazine, who has a long list of awards and accolades in addition to being named a 2017 MacArthur Genius Grant Fellow for “reshaping national conversations around education reform.” Wow!
I sincerely hope all our members will take the time to attend this event in April, and join us in committing, again, to the true service of all Americans in their search for the American Dream of homeownership.
Yours in service,
Andrew Sims, CEO Dayton REALTORS®