NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Report Housing Discrimination
If you believe your rights may have been violated, we encourage you to report housing discrimination to the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Fair Housing Resources for REALTORS®
Fair Housing Action Plan: ACT! (National Association of REALTORS®, Mar. 14, 2023)
NAR's Fair Housing Action Plan, abbreviated ACT!, emphasizes Accountability, Culture Change, and Training, to advance fair housing in the industry. We raise awareness, deepen understanding, and hold ourselves accountable.
2023 Fair Housing Month Toolkit (National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Party, 2023)
Download the Fair Housing Month poster and social media graphics, get ideas for Fair Housing Month activities, and learn more about Fair Housing grants.
Guidance for Fair Housing Compliance During the COVID-19 Pandemic (National Association of REALTORS®, Jan. 19, 2021)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, REALTORS® continue to play an important role in assisting people to find homes. These frequently asked questions about complying with the Fair Housing Act during the COVID-19 pandemic supplement our previous guidance.
Fair Housing Compiled Resources (National Association of REALTORS®, 2021)
Collection of links to NAR resources to help and education REALTORS® and associations on fair housing.
Closing the Racial Homeownership Gap Must Be Part of Our Long-Term COVID Response (Newsweek, Dec. 9, 2021)
"As Congress advances the biggest housing investments in decades and the Biden administration focuses more attention on housing issues, one policy matter should top the agenda: closing the racial homeownership gap. This persistent disparity not only limits the opportunity for individuals and families to build wealth; it also deprives our nation the opportunity for more robust economic growth."
Repairers of the Breach (REALTOR® Magazine, March 2021)
"Homeownership is the largest single contributor to intergenerational wealth for American families. But it has not been accessible to all Americans on equal terms. More than a half-century after passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, there remains a 30-percentage-point homeownership gap between white and Black Americans—the same as in 1968, the year the act was adopted. Black Americans own one-tenth the wealth of white Americans, despite earning, on average, about 60% of white Americans’ income."
The National Association of Realtors Is Sorry About All the Discrimination (Bloomberg.com, Dec. 21, 2021)
"Charlie Oppler, president of the National Association of Realtors and chief executive officer of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, with 15 offices in northern and central New Jersey, was speaking at a diversity and inclusion summit, an occasion marked with a mea culpa—and not a small one. The NAR, America’s largest trade group, issued a formal apology for decades of racist policy that excluded non-White people from owning homes."
Black Americans and the Racist Architecture of Homeownership (NPR, May 8, 2021)
"Last summer, DonnaLee Norrington had a dream about owning a home. Not the figurative kind, but a literal dream, as she slept in the rental studio apartment in South Los Angeles that she was sharing with a friend. At around 2 a.m., Norrington remembers, "God said to me, 'Why don't you get a mortgage that doesn't move?' And in my head I knew that meant a fixed mortgage." The very next morning — she made an appointment with Mark Alston, a local mortgage broker well known in the South LA Black community, to inquire about purchasing her very own home for the first time."
Living Apart: How the Government Betrayed a Landmark Civil Rights Law (ProPublica, Jun. 25, 2015)
"The authors of the 1968 Fair Housing Act wanted to reverse decades of government-fostered segregation, requiring federal officials to do everything possible to “affirmatively further” fair housing. This odd turn of phrase meant that the law didn’t just ban discrimination; it charged the government to act to bring about “integrated and balanced living patterns,” according to Senator Walter Mondale, a chief sponsor. But, for decades, presidents from both parties declined to enforce a provision of the law that stirred vehement opposition. Part of ProPublica’s Segregation Now series."
The Case for Reparations (The Atlantic, Jun. 2014)
America’s moral and economic debt to African Americans from slavery through the present runs through housing. Practices like redlining, predatory home purchase contract schemes, real estate blockbusting, the denial of benefits to black G.I.s returning from WWII, and the targeting of black homebuyers with subprime mortgages denied African Americans the opportunity to build wealth through homeownership. Many of these practices illegally and immorally drained away wealth that African Americans had already earned.
What Will It Take to Close the Racial Homeownership Gap? (National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 27, 2022) | 1 hour
On April 27, 2022, NAR presented new research on racial homeownership gaps that are widening or closing too slowly; discussed policy proposals to close the gap with a panel of experts; and highlighted the inaugural winners of NAR’s Fair Housing Champion Award, sponsored by realtor.com®, who are “Being the Change” to increase access to homeownership in their businesses and communities.
Fair Housing in your Neighborhood – How to be an Agent of Change (National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 26, 2022) | 1 hour
“Every April, the National Association of REALTORS® observes Fair Housing Month to commemorate the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act in which U.S. law was established to prohibit discrimination in housing. Fair Housing Month signifies a recommitment to expanding equal access to housing. NAR staff experts Alexia Smokler, Bryan Greene, and Megan Haberle, Senior Director of Policy at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, demystify local advocacy and outline real ways that you can make an impact. During the session, they discuss best practices for approaching local initiatives and spotlight resources, opportunities, including NAR grant support, and actions you can take to advance fair housing.”
Housing Discrimination (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Jul. 26, 2021) | 32 minutes
"John Oliver breaks down the long history of housing discrimination in the U.S., the damage it’s done, and what we might do about it."
Seven Days Documentary - 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act (National Fair Housing Alliance, Jan. 26, 2018) | 9 minutes
"When a single gunshot rings out at a Memphis motel, civil unrest breaks out across the country. President Johnson, long frustrated by his inability to improve housing conditions for people of color, scrambles to use the crisis to push a fair housing bill through a reluctant Congress. With few days to spare and many arms to twist, he and two young Senators – Edward Brooke and Walter Mondale – attempt to pass the bill before the slain civil rights leader is laid to rest. The Fair Housing Act was ultimately passed just seven days after Dr. Martin Luther King’s untimely death. Produced by the National Fair Housing Alliance in collaboration with Nationwide, this short film reminds us of the backdrop that led to the passage of this landmark civil rights law and its deep significance, and compels us all to complete the unfinished work of the Act."
Housing Point: Fair Housing Act Video Download (REALTOR® Store, 2018)
“Signed into law in 1968, the federal Fair Housing Act turns 50 in 2018. As part of NAR’s commemoration of this milestone, NAR has updated its video designed to educate real estate professionals on how to comply with the Fair Housing Act. The updated video includes vignettes that real estate professionals may encounter. The video will highlight these scenarios and provide risk management tips to real estate professional on how to meet their obligations under the Fair Housing Act.”
A Matter of Place (Fair Housing Justice Center, 2013) | 27 minutes
Connecting past struggles for fair housing to contemporary incidents of housing bias based on race, sexual orientation, disability, and source of income, the film presents three stories of people who faced housing discrimination in present-day New York City. They poignantly describe the injuries inflicted on them during these incidents, as well as their resolve to fight for justice.
Reckoning with America’s Racial Residential Segregation | At Liberty (American Civil Liberties Union, Mar. 2, 2023)
“The Fair Housing Act of 1968 aimed to address this history and outlaw discrimination, but vague guidelines and weak enforcement mechanisms have left a lot unaddressed. In January, the Biden administration reinstated the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, which adds federal heft to the Fair Housing Act and mandates that localities submit plans for actively addressing segregation and proposes that cities and states that fail to meaningfully work towards their stated goal could face loss of funding.”
Fair Housing: Who's Being Left Out of the Conversation? | Drive with NAR (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 1, 2022)
“Three REALTORS® who identify with underrepresented minorities—Lorraine Arora, ABR, GRI, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Alexandria, Va.; Stephen Beard of Keller Williams Advisors in Oakland, Calif.; and Tim Hur, CRS, SRS, of Point Honors and Associates, REALTORS®, in Duluth, Ga.—share their experiences encountering discrimination in real estate. They offer first-hand advice on how to spot biases and avoid fair housing violations.”
Charting the Long March to Equality, Justice, and Joy | NPR Our Body Politic (National Public Radio, Sept. 02, 2022)
NPR features Bryan Greene, NAR's Vice President of Policy Advocacy, in a 40-minute interview on how his 2017 article inspired the Oscar-winning film, "Summer of Soul."
Ensuring Fair Housing for All with NAR's Bryan Greene | Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast (National Association of REALTORS®, Nov. 2, 2020)
Growing awareness among real estate professionals has resulted in a clearer understanding that fair housing in America is still an issue. Last November, Bryan Greene, the current Vice President of Political Advocacy at NAR, was featured on NAR's Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast to talk about the Fair Housing situation in America. Bryan talked about the history behind the situation in our country, as well as what tools NAR is using to help their agents start making a change as we move forward to a more fair and equitable industry.
Building Stuyvesant Town: A Mid-Century Controversy | The Bowery Boys: New York City History (Omny Studio, Nov. 14, 2019)
"The residential complexes Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, built in the late 1940s, incorporating thousands of apartments within a manicured "campus" on the east side, seemed to provide the perfect solution for New York City's 20th century housing woes. It would be a home for returning World War II veterans and a new mode of living for young families. As long as you were white."
Location! Location! Location! | NPR Codeswitch (National Public Radio, Apr. 11, 2018)
Fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, this episode looks at how residential segregation continues to shape the ways we live today.
The Red Line: Racial Disparities in Lending (Reveal | The Center of Investigative Reporting, Feb. 17, 2018)
"Reporters analyzed 31 million government mortgage records and determined that people of color were more likely than whites to be denied a conventional home loan in 61 metro areas, including Atlanta, Detroit and Washington. That’s after controlling for a variety of factors, including applicants’ income, loan amount and neighborhood.
"No city better exemplifies the trend than Philadelphia, where so-called up-and-coming neighborhoods abound – and where African American applicants were nearly three times as likely as whites to be denied a home loan. That’s where reporters Aaron Glantz and Emmanuel Martinez tell the story of two loan applicants – one black, one white – whose experiences raise larger questions about who gets to buy a home, and who doesn’t, in America."
In Nearly Every State, People of Color Are Less Likely to Own Homes Compared to White Households (Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Feb. 8, 2023)
“In every state across the US, Black, Hispanic, and Native American households have lower homeownership rates than white households; likewise, Asian households were less likely to be homeowners in all states but Hawaii. While these racial homeownership gaps vary somewhat state-to-state, their extent and persistence across the country demonstrate the need for coordinated policies and programs—at the state and national level—to address these gaps.”
A Snapshot of Race and Home Buying in America (National Association of REALTORS®, 2023)
“This report looks at homeownership trends, mortgage market and affordability by race, and home buyer demographics from the 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, home buyers and fair housing.”
2022 Fair Housing Trends Report (National Fair Housing Alliance, Nov. 30, 2022)
“This 2022 Fair Housing Trends Report is the latest in a series of annual reports about fair housing trends that NFHA has produced since the mid-1990s.
The most important finding of this report is that the number of housing discrimination complaints increased significantly in 2021, despite the fact there were fewer agencies reporting complaint data. There were 31,216 housing complaints in 2021, an 8.7 percent increase over the number of complaints filed in 2020.”
2021 Fair Housing Trends Report (National Fair Housing Alliance, Jul. 29, 2021)
“The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) has produced a report since the mid-1990s about the fair housing trends of the prior year. This report contains two sections. In section I, we outline in detail the fair housing complaint data for 2020, providing information by type of agency, protected class, and type of transaction and more. In Section II, we provide a sample of important legal victories in many housing discrimination cases in 2020.”
Protecting Homeownership from the Impact of COVID-19 (National Fair Housing Alliance, May 10, 2021)
“While vacant and abandoned homes blighted many neighborhoods throughout the country, tight access to credit locked many prospective owner-occupants out of the market. As a result, foreclosed properties were overwhelmingly sold to investors, and ultimately more than five million homes transitioned from owner-occupied to investor-owned rental homes. These trends were even more concentrated in communities of color, sending the homeownership rates for both Blacks and Latino Americans tumbling. Indeed, the homeownership rate for Blacks has not recovered.”
Fair Housing Organization Websites
National Fair Housing Alliance
“The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education, outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, community development, advocacy, and enforcement.”
University of Illinois Chicago Law Fair Housing Legal Support Center & Clinic
"The Fair Housing Legal Support Center & Clinic is dedicated to educating the public about fair housing law and providing legal assistance to private or public organizations that seek to eliminate discriminatory housing practices."
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
“The mission of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) is to eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities by leading the nation in the enforcement, administration, development, and public understanding of federal fair housing policies and laws.”
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Fair Housing and Civil Rights Collections (eBooks and Audiobooks)
From Foreclosure to Fair Lending, Advocacy, Organizing, Occupy, and the Pursuit of Equitable Credit (eBook)
Housing Segregation in Suburban America Since 1960 (eBook)
Making Housing More Affordable (eBook)
The Color of Wealth (eBook)
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
The Fight for Fair Housing : Causes, Consequences, and Future Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act (New York, NY: Routledge, 2018) HD7288.76.U5 F54 2018
Moving Toward Integration : The Past and Future of Fair Housing (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018) HD7288.76.U5 S27 2018
The One-Way Street of Integration Fair Housing and the Pursuit of Racial Justice in American Cities (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018) HD7288.76.U5
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (New York, NY: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017) E185.61 .R8185 2017
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