Fair Housing: How You Can Help Create Housing Equality for All

UCBR Fair Housing


UCBR Fair Housing

As Fair Housing Month draws to a close, it’s vital for us as REALTORS® to remember that the fight for fair housing doesn’t end when the calendar flips to May. Every day, we are responsible for ensuring everyone has access to safe, affordable housing without fear of discrimination – based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. In this post, we’ll remind ourselves why fair housing is crucial and explore how we can continue practicing it year-round. Let’s take a moment to reflect on our role in creating inclusive communities throughout the year.

As of 1968, the Fair Housing Act protects anyone from discrimination when it comes to purchasing a home, renting, getting a mortgage, seeking assistance with housing, or engaging in housing-related activities. Before the Act was passed, landlords, banks, and other housing organizations could discriminate freely. The Fair Housing Act was passed to protect renters, homeowners, potential homeowners, and those in need.

Ensuring fair housing is essential for everyone in America to access suitable accommodation regardless of age, race, religion, family situation, or ability level. By preventing any stereotyping or preferences from influencing the decision-making process, diverse and open communities are created. Not only does this result in pride among those living there, but it also encourages economic development due to the investments people make when they feel welcomed. This is particularly important in times of hardship to sustain economic growth and attract talented people to the area.

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing against the following protected classes: renters, homebuyers, mortgage applicants, and homeowners’ insurance applicants.


  • Race
  • Sex
  •  Color
  • •Religion
  • Creed
  • National origin
  • Gender (including sexual orientation and gender identity)
  • Disability
  • Familial status (presence of children under the age of 18 and pregnancy)


Fair housing is critical, and as REALTORS®, we must continue to advocate for equal housing for all. There are some ways you can help advance fair housing.


Stay Informed

As a member of the Ulster County Board of REALTORS®, you have access to the New York State Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® resources, which keep you up to date on the newest information, news, and training concerning fair housing. This training can help you remain in compliance with New York State’s Fair Housing laws and be conscious of any housing discrimination happening to your clients or others looking for housing.

Report Any Housing Discrimination

As a REALTOR®, you will likely encounter numerous individuals and families during your job. Even if they aren’t your clients, you may observe discrimination. Please don’t stay silent–reporting any bias you encounter is an essential part of eliminating it and helping to prevent future cases. Ignoring it enables discrimination to keep occurring.

Sponsor a Fair Housing Event or Partner with Organizations/Speakers

The prevalence of fair housing discrimination could be reduced if more people understood it and were familiar with their housing rights. Hosting a fair housing event or collaborating with a professional or association to spread knowledge on housing discrimination and rights may help to empower the local community.

Get Involved in State and Local Politics

To combat housing discrimination, becoming involved in state and local politics is essential. Ulster County Board of REALTORS® members can join The REALTORS® Political Action Committee and attend Lobby Day to ensure those engaging in unfair practices face severe consequences. Your presence can amplify the voices of those who have experienced housing discrimination.

Be There for Your Clients

As a REALTOR®, you are your clients’ most vital support system. By accompanying them through their search for the perfect home, you ensure that fair housing laws are followed, and that no discrimination occurs between your clients and the sellers. Doing so provides your clients security and comfort while finding their dream homes.

It is essential that we all work together to ensure fair housing and the right of everyone to have a place they can call home. As real estate professionals, we must protect these rights and ensure that no one experiences discrimination or unfair treatment when trying to find their perfect home. We must continue fighting for fair housing so everyone can experience the joys of homeownership without any encumbrances or prejudice.

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