Mortgage, real estate industry bodies champion equality

by Steve Randall09 May 2019

Two of the mortgage and real estate sector’s leading associations are making their voices heard in the quest for equality.

The National Association of Realtors has been testifying to the House Financial Services Panel which was examining racial disparities in American homeownership.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers is urging its members and the public to support the proposed Equality Act introduced by the US Congress.

"To many people in this country, homeownership is synonymous with the American Dream, creating stable communities, increasing civic participation and building our feelings of self-worth and self-esteem," JoAnne Poole, currently Vice Chair of the National Association of Realtors®' Multicultural Real Estate Leadership Advisory Group told the House panel Wednesday. "If America is to remain a nation of homeowners, we must address the persistent barriers that minorities continue to face.”

With African American and Hispanic homeownership rates of 41% and 47% respectively, well below the national average of 64.2%, NAR has partnered with NAREB as the group maintains a central and historic role highlighting the issues impacting minority homeownership in America.

"Priority should be placed on advancing local policy solutions; tackling housing supply and affordability; promoting equitable and accessible housing finance; reaching out to mortgage ready millennials and renters; and maintaining a focus on sustainable homeownership and preservation," Poole said.

Equality Act
The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) is supporting H.R. 5, the Equality Act introduced by Representatives David Cicilline and

Brian Fitzpatrick and its companion bill, S. 788, the Equality Act introduced in the Senate by Senators Jeff Merkley and Susan Collins.

The Act would specifically add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act.

“NAMB looks forward to the enactment of the Equality Act and we extend a great deal of gratitude to Congress for taking on this piece of legislation,” said Kimber White, NAMB Board Member. “No American should live under the hideous yoke of discrimination and with this work within Congress, NAMB is sure our great nation will take one step closer to ensuring no citizen experiences the true ugliness of being discriminated against. We urge our members and the public to join-in with our support of the Equality Act.”