April is Fair Housing Month, and Fair Housing Begins With You
April 1, 2022
Fairness is an admirable concept. As children, we’re taught to play fair with our siblings and friends. In sports, fair play and following the rules wins respect among competitors. As adults, fairness requires us to treat others equally. In practice, fairness is more elusive but nonetheless a worthy goal. In America, fairness in housing has been the law of the land since passage of the Fair Housing Act in April 1968. Every year in April, the National Association of Realtors® underscores both the legal and moral requirements of fairness in the real estate industry by celebrating Fair Housing Month.
A Little History Lesson
Considered one of the great achievements of the civil rights era, The Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968 as a follow-up to the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. President Lyndon Johnson used the aftermath of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to move the bill through Congress. Its purpose is to prohibit discrimination in housing-related transactions to persons because of:
- National Origin
- Family status
Housing related transactions include the sale and rental of housing, as well as mortgage lending. Embodied in NAR’s Code of Ethics is its opposition to discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin.
Commemorate and Commit
This year’s theme, “Let’s Make Unfair Housing History,” affirms that housing discrimination still exists in America despite more than a half century of years of laws and regulations. NAR calls upon its members to “Check yourself. Educate yourself. Hold yourself accountable. Because That’s Who We R®.”
In 2020, NAR's Board of Directors strengthened REALTORS®’ commitment to upholding fair housing ideals, approving a series of recommendations from NAR’s Professional Standards Committee that extend the application of Article 10 of the Code of Ethics to discriminatory speech and conduct outside of members' real estate practices.
To be fair, you have to know the rules. NAR offers a quick assessment of your Fair Housing Act knowledge with this 12-question quiz. Check yourself, then educate yourself with books, films, videos, podcasts and articles you'll find here. Finally, hold yourself accountable because building strong, vibrant communities through fair housing begins with you.