The National Association of REALTORS® kicks off Fair Housing Month this week with a packed calendar of events, new resources, and policy initiatives designed to empower its 1.5 million members to help expand homeownership and support diverse, inclusive communities. “We are taking on a bold goal to narrow racial and ethnic homeownership gaps substantially,” says Bryan Greene, NAR’s vice president of policy advocacy. “The Black-White homeownership gap is larger today than when the Fair Housing Act was signed into law more than 50 years ago. NAR is going beyond observances and building an action plan with industry partners to really move the needle on homeownership for groups that have been historically excluded.”
Before joining NAR in 2019, Greene was the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s top career official overseeing enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. He also designed NAR’s Accountability, Culture Change, and Training (ACT) fair housing initiative. “We’re seeing unprecedented efforts by industry, nonprofit, government, and private sectors to confront barriers to homeownership,” Greene says. “The wind is at our back, and we want to leverage every tool possible.” NAR’s plans for the month include:
- The association released a new policy paper on April 12 detailing obstacles to home buying, broken down by race and ethnicity. It came on the heels of an NAR and realtor.com® joint report in February titled “Double Trouble,” which found that record-high home prices coupled with record-low inventory are holding many Americans back—particularly Black Americans—from achieving homeownership.
- NAR is on the steering committee of the Black Homeownership Collaborative and helped develop a seven-point plan to add 3 million net new Black homeowners by 2030. Dubbed 3by30, the initiative is supported by many industry partners.
- NAR also rolled out a more-than-50-page fair housing toolkit to help state and local associations use fair housing grants to further fair housing in their communities.
- REALTORS® Tim Hurr, Stephen Beard, and Lorraine Arora join REALTOR® Magazine’s new podcast, Drive with NAR, to discuss the Fairhaven fair housing simulation, the ACT plan, accessibility, and appraisal bias. Listen to the epiode, “Fair Housing: Who’s Being Left Out of the Conversation?”
- On Friday, Greene and Alexia Smokler, NAR’s director of fair housing policy, will speak at NAR’s Conference Year-Round session, “Fair Housing in your Neighborhood – How to Be an Agent of Change.” Register for the session.
- NAR will host a Facebook Live event Wednesday called “How Do We Close the Homeownership Gap?” In addition to panel discussions and research presentations, the event will celebrate NAR’s inaugural Fair Housing Champions.
“NAR’s Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn set an advocacy goal of Fair Housing for All, and with everything NAR has planned, I think we are moving in the right direction to achieve it,” Greene says. Access NAR’s Fair Housing Month calendar of events, resources, book and media recommendations, and other information.