GBBR Earnestly Supports Racial Equality and Housing Equality

We cannot adequately express our sense of sadness and outrage surrounding the acts of violence and discrimination against our Asian Americans. These events deeply trouble all of us. They threaten the core values of our community. Our GBBR community is diverse & is comprised of individuals from every background. We must all stand against the recent acts of hate & bias and stand as one with our Asian American members. At a minimum, we offer support and education in working to end such prejudice, hatred, and discrimination against all human beings.  Like we have said many times previously, we abhor discrimination in any form against any person for any reason.  That is the imperative we stand by!

To be silent is to be complicit.  We stand as one with our members and our community in rejecting racism.  Our identity is rooted in empowering everyone in our community.  We stand for inclusion.

As the first real estate association in the country and the first organization to sign the “Equal Opportunity in Housing” statement with HUD, GBBR is committed to working with our local, state, and federal leaders to create policies that address systemic racism and racial injustice.  We will speak up against racist comments and behaviors.  We pledge to proactively move towards true change.

We believe this is the time when we should be compelled to stop diagnosing what is wrong and begin to advocate and actively work for what is right.  The tragedy of these events gives us all an opportunity for reflection and a renewed commitment to our core values.  For GBBR, these core values are:

We are a trusted partner We commit to equity, inclusion, and diversity with our members and our community.

We choose right over easy:  We stand up and speak out for what’s right – even when it’s not the easy choice.  We do not condone police brutality.

We use our leadership to implement change:  We recognize that we cannot solve a systemic problem overnight, but we are committed to making progress and to working with our elected leaders to create legislation addressing the end of this abuse and solving this systemic racism.

This recommitment to our core values is only the beginning of the critical conversations we need to have as an industry.

As an initial step, GBBR will launch a series of round table discussions for our members to openly discuss eradicating social injustice, especially in the transfer of homeownership.  In the meantime, lean on us and on each other.  We are unwavering in our support of the GBBR members and the broader community.

– GBBR Leadership Team 

How do you recognize Housing Discrimination?

Under the Fair Housing Act, it is against the law to engage in the following based on one’s identification, or perceived identification as a member of a protected class:

  • Refuse to rent or sell you housing
  • Indicate that housing is unavailable when in fact it is available
  • Show you apartments or homes in certain neighborhoods only
  • Advertise housing to preferred groups of people only
  • Refuse to provide you with information regarding mortgage loans, deny you a mortgage loan, or impose different terms and conditions on a mortgage loan
  • Deny you property insurance
  • Conduct property appraisals in a discriminatory manner
  • Refuse to make certain modifications or accommodations for persons with mental or physical disability, including persons recovering from alcohol and substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS-related illnesses
  • Fail to design and construct housing in an accessible manner
  • Harass, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising or assisting someone else with their fair housing rights

For more information on Fair Housing:
http://www.mdrealtor.org/Programs/Housing-Programs/Fair-Housing 

Diversity Resources

REALTORS® are obligated to uphold a strict Code of Ethics and must treat all clients equally, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. The REALTOR® commitment to diversity and equality is perhaps the strongest in real estate, even going a step farther than the federal Fair Housing Act, which does not include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes against housing discrimination. REALTORS® play an essential role in ensuring that fair and equal opportunity in housing is protected.

Change catalyst and diversity expert Verna Myers said, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” For several years, Maryland REALTORS® has attempted to fill its housing equity “dance card” with organizations and professionals who could positively influence fair housing efforts in Maryland. We’ve developed relationships with diversity and multicultural industry groups through our Global Business and Housing Affordability & Equal Opportunity committees. In 2019, Maryland REALTORS® President John Harrison formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) task force to evaluate and make recommendations to improve the diversity among our leadership.

Whether you have personal experience with hurtful discriminatory behavior or are just starting to learn about the troubling history of race in this country, the resources on this page may help you understand why it’s so crucial that we, as real estate professionals, lean into these issues to ensure we’re serving the industry and consumers in the best way possible. We may find that our efforts lead to more comprehensive education and evaluation of public policy and legislative matters to help correct systemic inequities impacting property rights and homeownership.

For more information on Diversity Resources:
https://www.mdrealtor.org/Programs/Housing-Programs/Diversity-Resources