By Geoff Ramsey, CRS, GRI
President, Greater Chattanooga Realtors®
For decades, Realtors - members of the National Association of Realtors - have supported a free, open market that embraces fairness and equal opportunity for all buyers and sellers. Greater Chattanooga Realtors strongly support the Fair Housing Act, legislation first passed in 1968 and now prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin.
This year, Greater Chattanooga Realtors join fellow Realtors across the country to embark on a yearlong commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act to raise awareness for fair housing issues. Our focus for 2018 will be on three key elements: acknowledging the organization’s changing role in the fight for fair housing, understanding how we as a nation are constantly improving our commitment to fair housing, and ways Realtors strive to lead efforts to address fair housing policy issues.
While April is the month we make a special effort to highlight fair housing, it’s an ongoing effort for our members. Our Diversity Inclusion Committee is a standing committee. Their purpose is to promote equal opportunity and cultural diversity within the real estate industry and to foster an Association culture that embraces and celebrates our differences.
On April 3, we offer “At Home With Diversity,” which is a course that educates participants how to work successfully with and within a rapidly changing multicultural market. In addition, the course teaches about diversity sensitivity, how to apply fair housing laws in the real estate business, and ways to develop professional guidelines for working with people in an increasingly multicultural real estate market. Non-members are welcome to register by calling the Association office at 423.698.8001.
As your Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga, we continue to recognize the significance of the Fair Housing Act and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law, as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for a home or property. Realtors work hard to build strong communities and neighborhoods where all people can live and prosper.
Over the years, NAR has developed educational information on diversity and fair housing laws, programs and resources that have helped educate RealtorsÒ across the country on the importance of inclusive housing practices and the promotion of diverse homeownership. During the yearlong commemoration, NAR will further examine community fair housing issues and advocate for changes to the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Fair housing protects the American Dream of homeownership for all citizens, and Greater Chattanooga Realtors look forward to commemorating the anniversary and supporting the development of healthy and diverse communities.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is one of some 1,300 local boards and associations of Realtors® nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors®. Greater Chattanooga Realtors® service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423.698.8001.
Update April 2, 2018 at 9:15 am: Gov. Haslam Proclaims April "Fair Housing Month" in Tennessee.