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2007-04-03 08:20:00

NAR Reaffirms Pledge to Every American's Fair Housing Right

WASHINGTON, DC -- As the nation celebrates April as Fair Housing Month, the National Assn. of REALTORS® and its 1.3 million members reaffirm their commitment to America’s policy of fair housing and pledge to continue their work toward eliminating housing discrimination.

This year marks the 39th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status and national origin. By participating in Fair Housing Month, NAR aims to advance equal access to housing and remind Americans that fair housing is not an option: It’s the law.

“NAR is an outspoken advocate for fair housing, not only during Fair Housing Month but also throughout the entire year,” said Pat Vredevoogd Combs, NAR president, from Grand Rapids, MI, and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt. “REALTORS® are committed to build strong communities and play a vital role in ensuring equal housing opportunities for all.”

NAR supports equal opportunity in housing by providing courses, programs and awards aimed at meeting the nation’s fair housing commitment. NAR has armed REALTORS® with the tools and resources necessary to serve culturally diverse home buyers, such as NAR’s nine-year-old program, “At Home with Diversity.” The course educates REALTORS® about being sensitive to and aggressive in meeting the homeownership needs of a diverse society.

In support of Fair Housing Month, NAR is waiving the At Home with Diversity® program fee for any local or state REALTOR® association that sponsors the course in April.

To further remove barriers to minority homeownership and focus public attention on this vital issue, NAR and a group of minority real estate organizations introduced the HOPE (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone) Awards in 2001. These awards recognize outstanding projects and programs that increase minority homeownership, revitalize communities and expand affordable housing opportunities.

NAR also embraces fair housing practices through its Diversity Initiative Grant program, which provides financial resources to local and state Realtor® associations for diversity programs and activities. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded twice a year, and since 2004, the program has awarded more than $154,000. 

In February 2007, NAR contributed $1 million toward construction of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on the National Mall. Dr. King was a strong advocate for fair housing legislation, and NAR supports his vision of giving all Americans the opportunity to achieve the dream of homeownership.

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