Fair Housing Month: A Refresher on The Fair Housing Act

Fair Housing Month: A Refresher on The Fair Housing Act

Every April, the Alabama Association of REALTORS® and its counterparts across the nation encourage REALTORS® to reevaluate their commitment, refresh their knowledge, and rededicate their efforts toward fair housing practices. Affirming Alabama’s efforts to further fair housing, Governor Kay Ivey proclaimed April Fair Housing Month in Alabama.

Utilizing resources from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the 55th anniversary of passage of the Fair Housing Act is the perfect opportunity to ensure you are fighting discrimination and segregation and promoting equity in home ownership. Fairness in housing aims at ensuring buyers (and renters) have an equal opportunity to obtain a home and financing free of discrimination. 


1968 Landmark Act

Passage of the Fair Housing Act was the crowning achievement of America’s civil rights era that saw enactment of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. The assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave President Lyndon Johnson the influence he needed to move the bill through an increasingly conservative Congress. Its purpose is to prohibit discrimination in housing-related transactions to persons because of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Family status
  • Disability

Housing related transactions include the sale and rental of housing as well as mortgage lending. NAR’s Code of Ethics embraces the act and opposes discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin. 


Fair Housing in 2023

Across the globe, America is considered the land of opportunity, but a recent report by NAR, A Snapshot of Race and Home Buying in America, shows that we still have work to do. The 2023 report found racial inequalities in housing affordability and disparities in mortgage approvals. “Black homeowners spend more of their income to own their homes than all racial groups, with 30% being cost-burdened – defined as spending more than 30% of their income on housing. That’s followed by Hispanic Americans (28%), Asian Americans (26%) and White Americans (21%),” according to the NAR report. In pursuit of financing, the report said Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data revealed “20% of Black and 15% of Hispanic loan applicants were denied mortgages, compared with about 11% of White and 10% of Asian applicants.”


Reflect. Repair. Renew. Because That’s Who We R®

NAR’s 2023 Fair Housing Month theme encourages members to reflect upon the goals of the Fair Housing Act, take steps to correct practices that foster inequities, and to recommit to advancing fair housing opportunities and homeownership. For more resources, check out NAR’s Fair Housing Toolkit for books, articles, videos, and more.