Respondents in a recent survey have revealed the discrimination they face in the real estate industry. The discrimination takes various forms, including steering towards or away from specific neighborhoods and stricter requirements for mortgage approval. This revelation has led to the launch of a campaign called “Stop Hate in Real Estate” by four organizations representing diverse communities.
During the campaign’s launch at a press conference on September 26, families shared their experiences of being forced to flee their home states due to anti-LGBTQ+ bills, laws, and rhetoric. They feared for the safety and futures of their children. The leaders of each organization spoke about the discrimination faced by their respective communities and emphasized the need to stand in solidarity.
The CEO of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, Hope Atuel, cited FBI data showing a 57% increase in hate crimes and discrimination against the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community between 2020 and 2021. Atuel highlighted the growing number of bills restricting land purchase by foreigners from countries deemed as adversaries, referencing Florida’s law limiting Chinese property ownership under the pretense of national security. She expressed the importance of not allowing more barriers to hinder the AANHPI community’s journey to homeownership.
The president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Nuria Rivera, emphasized that the Hispanic community is the largest diverse demographic in the United States, with approximately 65 million people. However, the homeownership rate remains low at 49%, partly due to discrimination. Rivera praised the “Stop Hate in Real Estate” initiative, stating that it provides an opportunity for industry professionals to unite against discrimination.
Another supporter of the campaign, Sara Sutachan, senior vice president and chief strategy officer of the Association of Realtors, highlighted the importance of empowering women in the real estate industry. She noted that although more than 60% of the industry comprises females, their path to success is often more challenging than their male counterparts. Sutachan stressed the need for the real estate community to combat discrimination and contribute to societal change.
The initiative aims to address discrimination by providing a pledge for real estate professionals to sign, demonstrating their commitment to ending hate. It will also include various events and showcase how discrimination impacts homebuyers and sellers. Leaders from the four organizations, representing a combined membership of nearly 75,000, will collaborate to identify discriminatory activities and work towards rectifying them.
Acknowledging the initiative, Jim Hamilton, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, emphasized the shared goal of supporting individuals and families in achieving the American dream of homeownership, regardless of their background. Hamilton stressed that hate speech and harassment based on factors such as race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation will not be tolerated in the industry, as expressed in the Realtor Code of Ethics.
The “Stop Hate in Real Estate” campaign is an important step towards combating discrimination in the real estate industry and promoting equality and inclusivity. It sends a powerful message that discrimination will not be tolerated, and that everyone should have the same opportunities to pursue homeownership.