Phil McBride, John L. Scott Real Estate’s Company Operating Officer, was recently honored as a recipient of the RISMedia National Homeownership Award. The award was announced at RISMedia’s Power Broker & Newsmaker Reception & Dinner, held in San Diego last week.
McBride’s award win from RISMedia was powered by the team at Rocket Mortgage, who nominated him after learning about his diversity, equity and inclusion work.
This award win centered around McBride’s dedication to the Driving Change initiative at John L. Scott. This program is in collaboration with industry leaders including Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Driving Change is an initiative aimed at streamlining the process of uncovering and modifying racially restrictive covenants. Racially restrictive covenants are discriminatory language in title documents, dictating who can live in or rent a home.
While no longer enforceable since the Fair Housing Act of 1968, racial covenants are direct evidence of the real estate industry’s complicity and complacency when it came to the government’s racist policies of the past. These laws were pervasive across the country, with racial covenants appearing in the titles of millions of homes in nearly every city in the U.S.
With the support of AWS Global Impact Computing Specialists and Solution Architects, John L. Scott is building an artificial intelligence solution leveraging machine learning that will help homeowners easily identify racial covenants in their property title documents. The Washington State Association of County Auditors is also working with the project by providing digitized deeds, titles and CC&Rs from their database, starting with King County (Seattle).
Once these racial covenants are identified, John L. Scott team members will guide homeowners through the process of modifying these discriminatory restrictions from their home’s title.
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized for the work we’re doing with Driving Change,” said McBride. “I strongly believe that buying a home should be a special occasion—one which shouldn’t bring racist specters of a not-so-distant past. With the help of Amazon Web Services and industry leaders in academia, technology and real estate, we can help homeowners seize the opportunity to modify discriminatory language in their property titles.”
Though the Driving Change project is currently focused on geographic areas served by John L. Scott, McBride noted that he hopes to inspire other real estate professionals across the country to create similar programs and further influence positive change.
To learn more, visit, www.johnlscott.com/drivingchange.