RE: Fair Housing Month 2021
April is Fair Housing Month. As gatekeepers to the dream of homeownership, Realtors® commit to serving consumers openly and equally. Realtors® support and promote the objectives of the Fair Housing Act as part of NAR’s Code of Ethics. With renewed conversation about inequities in real estate, recognizing Realtors®’ commitment to fair housing feels especially important at this time.
The Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® has scheduled a month-long program of events to help you commemorate Fair Housing Month. Resources, events, and classes are available to help you.
FAIR HOUSING PLEDGE
Show your support for Fair Housing by taking the Realtor® Fair Housing pledge. Colorful, house-shaped pledge cards will be displayed at SPAAR for SPAAR offices, teams and individual members who take the pledge.
Take the pledge virtually : Take the pledge right on SPAAR’s website.
Stop by SPAAR to sign the pledge. Pledge forms are available in the vestibule.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to take the pledge---your name will be added to the wall.
SPAAR’s Committee for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is sponsoring a coloring contest with the message, “EVERYONE is welcome in my neighborhood!” Contest opportunities ran in select SPAAR community newspapers through March. A digital version of the coloring contest sheet is at spaar.com. (Limited quantities of the coloring page are also available for touch-free pick-up at SPAAR.) Please share the coloring contest with clients/schools/daycare centers. Prizes will be awarded to winning entries in four age categories. Entries are due April 16. For complete rules, visit spaar.com. Coloring Contest entries will be displayed at SPAAR throughout Fair Housing Month in April.
FAIR HOUSING EDUCATION
Register for a continuing education class on the history of the Fair Housing Act or learn how Realtors® have taken a lead in promoting homeownership. Sessions of SPAAR’s Owning Up! And RETHOS’ Racism in Real Estate will be scheduled during April. Visit Calendar – SPAAR for details.
Try NAR’s Fairhaven: A Fair Housing Simulation (nar.realtor)--to test yourself and learn about unconscious bias.
What to Expect from a Realtor®: Fair Housing -- For Realtors®, prepared by Realtors®
This communications campaign will combine a video, continuing education class and flier, describing Realtors®’ commitment to supporting fair housing. Content was created by a subcommittee including members of SPAAR’s Communications, Professionalism and DEI Committees. Watch eNews for info about the upcoming class and consumer-focused brochure. First up, the video: https://youtu.be/9H2UaPpyRXc.
Chockful of resources for Fair Housing Month, including social media posts, graphics, and brochures ready for sharing. The toolkit includes marketing materials from the Minnesota Homeownership Opportunity Alliance created to address disparities in homeownership. To get started, spaar.com/fair-housing-toolkit-for-realtors.
The April episode of SPAAR’s podcast series Better & Better will feature guest Kasey Kier, Assistant Commissioner of Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. Learn about the agency’s efforts to reduce disparities in BIPOC homeownership and how you can help. Three years ago, Minnesota’s Housing Task Force released recommendations on easing Minnesota’s housing crisis. What is going on, and how has the pandemic impacted the housing crisis? Watch spaar.com for details.
BOOK DISCUSSION SERIES
SPAAR’s Professionalism Committee will kick-off a four-part morning discussion series of The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein on May 6. This book investigates how federal policy imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide which restricted homeownership and wealth building. What are solutions or next steps to addressing the cultural impacts this created? Subsequent dates in the series are May 20, June 3 and June 17. Each session will be held via ZOOM from 8:00 to 8:45 a.m.
Discussions will be led by SPAAR members. To register, visit SPAAR’s events calendar. A limited number of shared copies of The Color of Law are available. To borrow a copy, email email@example.com
Extra credit: Richard Rothstein will discuss his research at a virtual session presented by Hennepin History Museum on April 21 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. For tickets, visit https://hennepinhistory.org/event/color- of-law/ (This is an external event.)
OWNING UP! EXHIBIT
SPAAR’s exhibit that summarizes root causes for disparities in rates of homeownership will be on view in SPAAR’s lobby windows. (In-person events are currently cancelled and SPAAR’s building is closed to visitors through June 30.)
FAIR HOUSING MONTH PROCLAMATIONS
SPAAR’s Government Affairs Directors are working with local governments throughout SPAAR’s area to coordinate and schedule proclamations recognizing April as Fair Housing Month
SPAAR’s Committees created Fair Housing Month programs—and dedicated funds from committee budgets to support this effort. Thank you, sponsors:
SPAAR’s Communications Committee, Affiliates Committee, Metro YPN Committee, Professionalism Committee, Committee for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Board of Directors
Realtors® are leaders in their communities in promoting rights provided by the Federal Fair Housing Act. Please join me in recognizing April Fair Housing Month by taking part in the many activities SPAAR has to offer.
2021 President, Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®