Every April, REALTORS® commemorate the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 with events and education that shine a light on housing discrimination and segregation. Fair Housing Month signifies a recommitment to expanding equal access to housing. Implicit bias is often a manifestation of muscle memory. A go-with-your-gut unconscious choice, act, or opinion with immeasurable consequences that can–and have–impacted generations.
Slow down, course correct, and take action. Throughout the year we must remain steadfast in our commitment to breaking down biases, holding ourselves accountable, and upholding the letter of the law. Refresh your memory, and open your mind. There’s always more to know, and we can all do better.
What can you do?
1. Complete the NEW fair housing simulation training for REALTORS® which uses the power of storytelling to help members identify, prevent, and address discriminatory practices in real estate. Inspired by real stories, this innovative online experience has agents work against the clock to sell homes in the fictional town of Fairhaven, while confronting discrimination in the homebuying process. Learners will also walk in the shoes of a homebuyer facing discrimination. The training provides customized feedback that learners can apply to daily business interactions. Get started by visiting fairhaven.realtor (link is external) to explore the fictional town of Fairhaven and assess how well you are adhering to fair housing principles.
2. Join a PSAR Reading Discussion Circle. PSAR is encouraging community leaders and Realtors to read "The Color of Law" by Richard Rothstein. The fact that some neighborhoods are almost exclusively African American while others are almost exclusively white—is the result of explicit government policy rather than personal choice. Understand how residential segregation was realized. Join community leaders and other Realtors as we discuss this book.
Interested? Sign up Here to join and receive for more information.
Below is a 35 minute sound clip with the author of "Color of Law."
3. Join the Facebook Group Deliberately Fair Housing. Listen and engage in discussions about Fair Housing. Read and discuss books and discover issues that face diverse communities.
5. Take a Fair Housing class though PSAR. This presentation covers: Fair Housing based on issues in advertising. This training is designed for those new to the housing industry as well as experienced housing professionals wishing to learn about current issues affecting fair housing laws. Find a fair Housing Class
6. If you don't think you have biases, think again. We all do. Check out this great Ted Talk with Valerie Alexander "How to Outsmart Your Own Unconscious Bias"