.Three Tacoma real estate agents were recognized as National Fair Housing Champions. Their efforts were noted at an event hosted by NAR and the Memorial Foundation, Inc. commemorating Fair Housing Month, “The Past, Present, and Future of Fair Housing,” hosted by Soledad O’Brien and featuring U.S. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.
The Past, Present, and Future of Fair Housing
The Fair Housing Act was passed into law in 1968. Both the National Association of REALTORS and the Tacoma Pierce County Association of REALTORS opposed Fair Housing and fought its passage. NAR is beginning to take steps to take responsibility for that and to right those wrongs.
Over the decades, NAR has taken steps to rectify these harmful practices. Today, NAR strongly supports the Fair Housing Act and has worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development(link is external) and private partners to promote equal access to homeownership. NAR revised its Code of Ethics to require equal professional service to all, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. Just last year, NAR’s board of directors voted to prohibit REALTORS® from making hateful speech on those same bases; 2020 was also the year NAR officially apologized for its historic actions, which denied homeownership to qualified Black Americans.
We have made progress, but 2020 exposed deep fault lines in America’s communities. It is apparent that, for the health of this country, more needs to be done than stopping present-day discrimination. The hard work of creating equal opportunity requires REALTORS® to continue to engage with the historic practices of the industry, and to consider how to remedy these wrongs. “NAR and the Past, Present, and Future of Fair Housing” Feb 7th 2021
National Association of REALTORS Tacoma Real Estate Agents as Fair Housing Champions
MovetoTacoma.com creator and Tacoma Real Estate Agent Marguerite Martin was on of the agents recognized by NAR as an agent trying to be on the right side of history this time.
In the video, Marguerite talks about realizing the ways her personal racism was showing up in her business. She shares about realizing the ways the real estate industry is systemically racist. “From the very beginning of my career I’ve been benefiting from a system that disadvantages other people. My company, my real estate association, my community of clients, my community of fellow agents- we need to be working together to actively disrupt this system. If I am going to do this job I need to find a way to do it that is not just neutral. I need to find a way that is actively undoing the damage that was done.”
To learn more about Marguerite’s efforts around race and real estate check out her conversation on Nate Bowling’s Podcast, “How Homeowners in Rising Markets Can Fight Displacement” and her interview with Jasmyn Jefferson, “Race, Real Estate and Friendship.”
Winderemere Abode owners Anne & Dave Jones were also recognized for their efforts to raise awareness of how different opportunities are for Black homeowners and Black REALTORS- and their work to change that in their own brokerage and their own community.
“You have to really believe that this is the right thing to do.” says Anne. “Then you find the systems of support and the mechanisms to do it.”
To learn more about Anne and Dave Jones and their work on fair housing in real estate check out their interview on the Katie Lance Podcast:
If you’re curious about racism and inequality in Tacoma play out in where we choose (or are able to afford) to live check out Tacoma’s Equity Index.