Rick Reilly, 2018 Federal Political Coordinator for Rep. John J. Faso NY-19 and Linda Page NAR Region 2 RVP explaining to Rep. Faso the strides New York State has made regarding Fair Housing and being the leader in this crusade.
As Linda explained to Rep. Faso, as REALTORS®, we have come a long way regarding fair housing. Initially, NAR leaders pushed back against the Fair Housing Act. “Requiring a property owner to enter into a contract with one not of his choice is an affront to the American tradition of freedom of contract” is a direct quote from an old NAR brochure. Fortunately, NAR leaders eventually came to recognize the importance of fair housing, and they included the obligation to not discriminate into our Code of Ethics. The original language followed that of the federal law.
In 2010, for the first time in the history of the Code of Ethics, REALTORS® approved a change to our Code to include sexual orientation as a protected class, and that was followed by the inclusion of gender identity in 2014. We have come a very long way, and New York as a state has added a number of protected classes such as we REALTORS® have with the Code. We as a country have much further to go. We can’t change where we have been, but we can change where we go from here. In 2018, discrimination is unacceptable, and it is time for Congress to step up and change the federal law, just as we REALTORS® have changed our Code of Ethics.