Business Insider published an article last week with a provocative title: “The housing shortage is the root of all of America’s problems.”
Before outlining a host of challenges facing American families, the author states, “The U.S. housing shortage isn’t just fueling an affordability crisis. It could be contributing to several of the major problems the country is facing.”
NAR has been shouting this from the rooftops for the past couple of years. Our research has shown that first-time, first-generation, and minority homebuyers are shouldering the greatest burden of the housing shortage. But we’re not just identifying the problems. We’re advocating for solutions that can turn the tide.
From meeting with Administration leaders to testifying before Congress and pushing for solutions at the federal, state, and local levels, we’ve repeatedly stressed that increasing housing affordability, accessibility, and availability is vital to making the American Dream a reality for more people of all backgrounds.
REALTORS® have a crucial role to play in building diverse communities. Recognizing this, the NAR Executive Committee recently approved a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan. The six pillars guiding the DEI Plan are Executive Commitment, Membership, Culture, Partners, Communication and Marketing Management, and, of course, Advocacy.
The strategic opportunities identified in the Advocacy pillar are to (1) promote public policy and provide programs to advance broader homeownership availability and affordability in all communities and (2) prioritize efforts to narrow homeownership gaps among demographic groups and promote strong enforcement of anti-discrimination laws in the housing market.
Expanding homeownership is a top priority for REALTORS®, and we know to make lasting change on these issues, we must ensure our policy positions, leadership, and programming include diverse voices and perspectives. Here are some of the resources available to your association through NAR and the REALTOR® Party to advance those efforts.
- Diversity Grants help associations enhance diversity in their leadership and collaborate with local chapters of national multicultural real estate organizations. You can also bring the Leading with Diversity Workshop to your association to develop key initiatives for greater inclusion of diversity in your association’s leadership.
- The Actionable Roadmap for Local Association Diversity and Inclusion provides a step-by-step guide to engaging your full membership, including those potentially underrepresented, through activities and leadership.
- Fair Housing Grants provide funding for activities that uphold fair housing laws and strengthen REALTORS®’ commitment to offering equal professional service to all.
- Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing is an NAR certificate course that helps members interrupt stereotypical thinking so they can avoid fair housing pitfalls and provide equal professional service. This three-hour classroom course can be taken in person or online and may qualify for CE credit in your state.
- The At Home With Diversity® certification program teaches REALTORS® how to work effectively with – and within – a rapidly changing multicultural market.
- Fairhaven is an innovative simulation that helps members identify, prevent, and address discriminatory practices in real estate
- The L.E.A.D. (Learn. Elevate. Accelerate. Deliver.) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Course helps members gain a solid understanding of DEI concepts and acquire the tools they need to serve effectively as a REALTOR®
To build diverse communities, we must commit to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion.