Realtors® Continue Focus on Fair Housing, Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Act

WASHINGTON (April 11, 2018) – The National Association of Realtors® is joining its 1.3 million members across the country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and further advocate for inclusion and diversity in the nation’s communities. NAR is also recognizing April as Fair Housing Month, with education and events for members and state and local Realtor® associations throughout the month.

As a leading advocate for homeownership, NAR is a strong supporter of the Fair Housing Act, legislation passed in 1968 prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status and national origin.

As a part of the yearlong 50th anniversary commemoration, Realtors® are looking back and acknowledging NAR’s changing role in the fight for fair housing, understanding how the nation is constantly improving its commitment to fair housing and leading efforts to further advance fair housing policy issues.

“As Realtors® join our industry partners, allies and consumers today and throughout 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, we believe that fair housing for all should remain a core focus of the housing industry, and we must ensure policies and programs continue to affirmatively further fair housing,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty.

“Not only is fair housing an important ethical commitment of our members, as outlined in the Code of Ethics , it is critical to our ability to serve our customers, clients and the community,” Mendenhall added. “We look forward to building upon our work with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agency and industry partners to voice support for and further advance inclusive sustainable communities free from discrimination.”

The nation and NAR did not always support fair housing rights, but greater understanding of fair housing rights changed over time, and NAR eventually became a leader in efforts to expand those rights. In 1972, NAR began providing fair housing training materials and education to its members, and in 1988, NAR supported the expansion of the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on familial status and handicap or disability.

NAR continued to ramp up its support and provide education and materials to assist local and state Realtor® associations through the 1980s and 1990s to help keep members apprised of their obligations to uphold fairness principles on a daily basis.

Earlier this decade, Realtors® further demonstrated their all-inclusive support of ensuring fair housing opportunities by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their code of ethics. Since 2016, NAR has sought changes in the Fair Housing Act to also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Looking ahead, Realtors® will continue this effort and advocate for more expansive fair housing policies that support access to housing for all.

Today, NAR continues to lead efforts that underscore its commitment to advancing fair housing through its advocacy efforts and extensive educational materials and information on diversity and fair housing laws, as well as programs and resources to help educate Realtors® across the country about the importance of inclusive housing practices and diverse homeownership.

Throughout 2018, NAR is joining its members and industry partners to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act with activities, special events and an enhanced focus on addressing community fair housing issues. NAR has developed new resources for associations and members to bring greater awareness to the anniversary, including monthly articles, videos, posters and print and banner advertising. During the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 14-19, in Washington, D.C., NAR will focus on fair housing, with events and speakers that will acknowledge the past fight for fair housing and embrace the future and further advancing fair housing policies.

Local and state Realtor® associations across the country are also commemorating the yearlong 50th anniversary and Fair Housing Month through events focused on increasing access to homeownership, revitalizing their communities and expanding affordable housing opportunities.

For more information, visit to learn about the commemoration, find materials and resources, and see what else Realtors® are doing to advance fair housing.

The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.