Access to homeownership has never been equal in the United States. Different minority groups have been excluded from buying a home from our nation’s founding to the present day. For Maureen Schimmel, connecting this reality with both the individual stories of these families, as well as with solutions that real estate professionals are putting together was not just a job, it was also her mission this year. Producing a digital video series that follows real first-time homebuyers from diverse backgrounds in their quests to purchase a home, Schimmel put human faces on an issue that is often abstracted behind big datasets and obfuscated by PR firms. Schimmel also has led partnerships with dozens of advocacy organizations, getting more and more people involved in the urgent, vital mission of truly opening up real estate to everyone.
“Confronting and overcoming discrimination and bias in housing is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society,” she says. “Everyone in the real estate industry has a part to play, and we must collaborate to create solutions for a better tomorrow.”