Residential Real Estate
Apr 28, 2022

Fair Housing an Ongoing Issue

Sponsored Content provided by Anne Gardner - CEO, Cape Fear REALTORS®

As Fair Housing Month draws to a close, it is worthwhile to mention that this is an issue with vast implications, making it something deserving of continued emphasis year-round.  For many active REALTORS®, the idea of Fair Housing brings to mind a list of best practices and things to avoid, rights and penalties, and mandatory continuing education. 
 
On the surface, the topic of fair housing is simple.   As the name implies, it protects from discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin.

What is not so obvious on a quick review is that, as stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects the livelihood and business of REALTORS® nationwide.  Economic strength depends on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity.

And as I have noted in a few other articles, diversity makes everyone stronger.  To ensure that the nation’s 1.5 million REALTORS® are doing everything possible to protect housing rights, the National Association of REALTORS® has developed a Fair Housing Action Plan.  With an online training platform that delivers customized feedback, the plan emphasizes accountability, culture change and training.

Though not identical, affordable housing naturally dovetails with the subject, as the goal is to ensure access to housing and ultimately, create a nation of homeowners with a vested interest in their communities.  It is unfortunate; however, that affordable housing becomes less available every year. 

In fact, the number of affordable homes available for sale nationwide dropped by 400,000 units between December 2019 and December of 2021.  What this means is that, for households that bring in between $75,000 to $100,000 a year, there is one affordable listing available for every 65 households.  This is a stark contrast from 2019, when one affordable listing was available for every 24 households. 

Along with rising interest rates, inflation and many other factors, strong demand has kept prices soaring and the level of home ownership has remained around 65 percent nationwide.  Fortunately, Cape Fear REALTORS® is committed to upholding fair housing law as well as provide equal professional services to all in their search for real property.

A bright spot here locally is the Wilmington REALTORS® Foundation, which recently initiated a townhome project off Carolina Beach Road to include 48 affordable housing options.  The community is intended to house residents earning an area median income between 81 percent and 120 percent as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For more information about fair housing issues or affordable housing opportunities, please visit CapeFear.REALTOR or call 910-762-7400. 
 


Anne Gardner is the CEO of Cape Fear REALTORS®, an organization with nearly 3,500 members who serve as the region’s Voice of Real Estate. Cape Fear REALTORS®, through advocacy, education, and community involvement, support efforts to protect the rights of property owners, promote the availability of housing, and provide resources to guarantee every individual has the right to share in the “American Dream.”  For further information on this topic and the association, please visit www.capefear.realtor or contact the Cape Fear REALTORS® at 910-762-7400.
 

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