Fair Housing Month is celebrated nationally each April in observance of the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. This important legislation prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing. It is an issue vital to everyone in the housing industry, from REALTORS® to short-term tenants.
Join your fellow REALTORS® in proclaiming your commitment to fair housing for all! Following are a few ideas to get you started…
Put a Poster On It
Put your commitment to fair housing on display! The National Association of REALTORS® has a poster featuring a timeline of milestones in fair housing or there’s always the Fair Housing Declaration. Likewise, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a poster of their own. If you’re looking for something a little more whimsical, check out this year’s Fair Housing Council of Oregon poster winners.
Lobby the Locals
Work with the electeds in your town or county and ask them to proclaim April as Fair Housing Month. The National Association of REALTORS® has boilerplate text for such a declaration on their website.
Read All About It
Educate yourself about fair housing issues. REALTORS® can learn about their responsibilities under fair housing laws through the Fair Housing Council of Oregon. (Be sure to check out all the resources under the “Learn” tab on their website.) Read Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond—this year’s selection for the Multnomah County Library’s Everybody Reads program.
Don’t neglect to educate your clients! The Fair Housing Council of Oregon has an informative site for housing consumers—and plenty of materials translated for speakers of other languages too.
Take It to the Next Level
If you’re looking for an office activity that will lend a unique perspective on housing issues, consider booking a fair housing bus tour or a training class with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon. Consider holding a poverty simulation at your office, which also involves housing issues. If those options are a little too time-involved, consider organizing a fair housing movie night with classics such as A Raisin in the Sun. Experiential learning can provide food for thought for years to come, and can be a valuable experience for your office staff.
What do you or your office do to observe Fair Housing Month?