Real estate agents play a significant role in ensuring that every American has equal access to safe and affordable housing. For REALTORS®, upholding the Code of Ethics means treating all clients equally regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Research, government enforcement and private litigation show that some consumers still face unlawful discrimination in the housing market based on their race or other prohibited bases.
The National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) 2023 Snapshot of Race and Home Buying in America examines the homeownership trends among racial groups and the challenges they face in becoming homeowners. The report finds significant disparities among them.
The homeownership rate for white Americans has consistently been near or above 70% since 2017, while homeownership among Black Americans has lagged by nearly 30 percentage points during the same period (41% – 44%).
While it is difficult to discern how discrimination contributes to this gap, the Snapshot does examine homebuyers’ reports of discrimination during the home-buying process.
Steering toward or away from specific neighborhoods was identified as the most prevalent form of discrimination reported by Hispanic/Latino homebuyers—50% alleged such discrimination—while 39% of Black/African American homebuyers said they experienced or witnessed discrimination in the appraisal of their homes. Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American homebuyers were also more likely to report encountering discrimination when homeowners or agents refused to show them properties because of their demographic classes.
These statistics tell just part of the story of the housing challenges some experience in our country. It’s up to each of us to understand and advocate for fair housing practices and to combat discrimination—especially in our own businesses. This means educating ourselves on the issues impacting different groups and understanding how to overcome biases that may arise during our work.
Deepen your understanding of these issues by:
To truly embrace non-discrimination and diversity, we must also examine our personal life and interactions. Do you often interact with people from diverse backgrounds? Does your social media feed reflect a mix of content from people with different lived experiences than you? Is your marketing inclusive and welcoming to all?
By making it a personal and professional priority to eliminate housing discrimination, we can better serve clients from all walks of life and foster a more inclusive and equitable industry.
Learn more about CRD at https://crd.realtor/.