In recognition of April as Fair Housing Month, RRAR invited Realtors, city commissioners, and other guests to a luncheon in an effort to increase awareness of fair housing. Attendees were also in encouraged to sign the Diversity Alliance Pledge for Realtors.
There was a tremendous turnout for the event. Attendees with a wealth of information on housing inequities, unknown biases, and best practices to provide equal housing opportunities. RRAR Government Affairs Director Jordan Forrest Strueli commented on the event's remarkable attendance, “We know that our members can be part of transformative solutions that can help end housing discrimination. We were grateful to host a room full of passionate Realtors who are ready to make a difference in our industry”.
Realtor Derrick Thornton served as emcee of the event at RRAR campus.
Guest speakers at the luncheon included:
Alexia Smokler, NAR Director of Fair Housing Policy & Programs
Vickie Adamson, Wake County Commissioner
Shanta Jackson, owner Jackson Realty Group
Smokler appeared virtually and gave a comprehensive presentation on the housing biases that still exist nationwide.
During Commissioner Adamson’s remarks, she presented an official declaration by the Wake County Board of Commissioners of April 2022 as Fair Housing Month. Adamson presented the certification to Leslie Williams, President of the Raleigh Association of Realtors. “The Fair Housing Act is foundational for my committee’s mission to find solutions for affordable housing in Wake County. We must educate and advocate, so everyone can access safe shelter that won’t break the bank”, Commissioner Adamson remarked after the event.
Commissioner Chair Sig Hutchison signed the proclamation on behalf of the Wake Co. Board of Commissioners. Hutchison issued this statement after the presentation, “We still need to bring awareness to housing disparities and work to create equitable housing choices in our community.”
Jackson wrapped up the proceedings by encouraging attendees to sign the Diversity Alliance Pledge as part of their commitment to fair housing. RRAR set up a photo station for those who signed the pledge to take a picture and share with others. President Williams was the first person to have her photo taken after signing the pledge.
Afterwards, Williams reflected on the importance of fair housing to both Realtors and homeowners. “As home ownership advocates, it is our duty to ensure that any prospective client, customer, or resident is treated fairly by the law. We do this by ensuring that we are educated about fair housing laws and practices”.
The Fair Housing Act was enacted in April 1968. The Act “provides equal housing opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, sex, or national origin, as well as to ensure fair practice in the sale, rental, or financing of property”.
For more information on the Diversity Alliance Pledge, go to RRAR’s Inclusion & Belonging page.