It is hard to put in words, the feeling one gets when you see a historic title abstract blatantly states that Jews, Blacks, Catholics, and other so-called ‘undesirables’ cannot legally purchase a home in a particular neighborhood. This is especially true when you happen to be the REALTOR® facilitating the sale and ALSO occupy at least one of the excluded categories.
The year was 1996. I sat at my desk, staring at a title commitment for a pending transaction where someone had forgotten to black out (the illegal portion) of the title abstract for a recent pending sale. I stared at the document wondering how many other homes I had inadvertently sold and had no idea about the covenants that lay underneath the land.
It is now two decades later. A lot has changed, and fortunately, I never encountered such a blatant example again, but I am not naive in recognizing that the legacy of racism has had many disastrous consequences for individuals and communities in our nation.
For me, the historic resolution this week during the Legislative Meetings for the National Association of REALTORS® acknowledging the role that REALTOR® associations have played in dividing and denying people the right to housing because of who they are was a poignant reminder that we are stronger together. And that change is possible.
Click the link to read the blog post by Featured Attendee, Matt Difanis and the text of the formal resolution from the National Association of REALTORS®.