Fair housing issues can seem enormous and miniscule at the same time. What difference can one agent or broker make against systemic, nationwide problems like racial inequality and the wealth and homeownership gaps? Actually, a big difference. You can help improve fair housing in your business and community.
If you only think of fair housing in terms of avoiding overt, in-your-face discrimination, you will miss the wide variety of violations that could happen in any real estate transaction. Fair housing complaints can spring from actions as small as adding a non-inclusive sentence in a listing description or answering a client’s question with an opinion instead of a fact.
Fair housing is everyone’s responsibility. Those who say fair housing isn’t a concern because I don’t discriminate are not helping, says Laurie Benner, associate vice president of programs at the National Fair Housing Alliance. “Just because you don’t see or experience a problem doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. It’s that type of apathy that is almost as dangerous as the bad behavior itself. By denying it, you’re contributing to the problem,” she says.
This article from the April issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine includes things you can do right now to support fair housing in your brokerage, community, and the state of Texas.