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:
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: