This past October, CAR hosted “Past, Present, Future: Reflecting on 50 years of the Fair Housing Act” at the South Shore Cultural Center. Chicago REALTORS® gathered to unpack Chicago’s complex history in fair housing and its impact on our neighborhoods today.
Through panel discussions, first-hand accounts and video presentations, we were reminded of the role that REALTORS® across the nation played in creating a segregated housing market. In order to continue forward movement in fair housing, we believe we need to not only recognize our past actions, but also reaffirm our commitment to fair housing and our role in providing tools and resources for our members to recognize and report fair housing violations. We apologized for our past actions in opposing fairness and equality. We aimed to provide a look at obstacles members and consumers still face in obtaining housing. While we acknowledge how far we have come as an association, we understand we still have some ways to go.
With laws enacted and many attitudes changed, Chicago remains the second most segregated city in our nation. We have work to do.
CAR is reaffirming our dedication to fair housing in Chicago. This starts with education. Our REALTORS® are strongly encouraged to participate in the “At Home With Diversity®” course, founded by NAR and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Based on the principles of the Fair Housing Act, the course will help REALTORS® understand their role in creating and celebrating an equitable housing market.
Next, get involved. We are excited to announce the creation of our Diversity Committee, which will be devoted to discussing and tackling discriminatory practices. In 2019, lend your voice and experiences to the committee, use its resources and attend its events. Also, be sure to connect with our Industry Partners. Each one works tirelessly to uplift historically disenfranchised groups in the real estate community.
Lastly, do not hesitate to report any fair housing violation or complaint. If you suspect a colleague or client is contributing to an unfair housing market, you have the responsibility of contacting CAR so we can hold them accountable. And, if you or your client experiences discrimination in housing, we encourage you to report the violation.
Fair housing is a human right and our communities are stronger when they are diverse. Thank you to our members who shared their personal stories, on stage and through video. We are so proud of the Chicago REALTORS® who have long been involved in the fight for fair housing, as well as those who have recently joined the cause.
We thank you in advance for your help. Our neighborhoods of tomorrow will be better because of the REALTORS® of today.
MICHELLE MILLS CLEMENT, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Association of REALTORS®