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Each year in April, REALTORS® join the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and rest of the nation in recognizing April as Fair Housing Month. Forty-nine years ago, on April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark U.S. Fair Housing Act, Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1968, which strives to ensure equal housing opportunity for all and prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status. In 2012, HUD published new regulations to ensure that its core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Fair Housing Month is an opportunity to recommit to the principle that fair housing is an essential part of everything we do. REALTORS® play a vital role in ensuring fair housing for all and strive to make the American dream of homeownership accessible to all,” says Denise Welsh, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®. “This year’s theme – ‘Fair Housing Equals Opportunity’ – reminds us that everyone have the same opportunity and rights when renting, owning, or buying a home.”

Home sellers and landlords have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Home seekers have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. This includes the right to expect:

  • Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination
  • Equal professional service
  • The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
  • No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing
  • No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing
  • Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities
  • Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling
  • To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights.

Real estate professionals are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.

If you suspect discrimination, you may file a complaint with the nearest HUD office, or by contacting them at http://www.hud.gov

April 2013 marks the 45th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act, which strives to to ensure equal housing opportunity for all. Each year REALTORS® join the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and rest of the nation in recognizing April as Fair Housing Month.

REALTORS® play a vital role in ensuring fair housing for all and strive to make homeownership accessible to everyone. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) works to help create an environment where everyone can choose where they want to live and not be discriminated against as they seek to achieve the American dream of homeownership.

Carolyn Miller, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®, whose members are also members of NAR, says REALTORS® abide by a Code of Ethics that states REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services and shall not be a party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.

“REALTORS® want all buyers and sellers to enjoy the benefits of a housing market free from discrimination,” says Miller.

On April 26, SILVAR is promoting Fair Housing Month by offering At Home With Diversity®, a course that teaches REALTORS® and other business professionals how to work effectively within a multicultural market. The full-day course addresses topics like diversity, fair housing and business planning development. For more information about At Home With Diversity®, call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100.

“Knowing how to work effectively with diverse populations can help you build business success in today’s multicultural real estate market,” adds Miller.

Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. They cannot instruct their real estate agent to convey any limitations in a sale or rental.

Buyers or renters have the right to expect housing will be available to them without discrimination, including:
• housing in their price range made available without discrimination.
• equal professional service.
• the opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices.
• no discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing.
• no discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing.
• reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities.
• non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling.
• freedom from harassment or intimidation for exercising their fair housing rights.

Buyers or renters who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing within one year of the alleged discrimination.

HUD recently launched a new mobile application for iPhone and iPad that provides the public information about their housing rights and responsibilities. The app also provides information about the fair housing complaint process, and allows the public to access HUD’s toll-free discrimination hotline and link to HUD’s fair housing website: http://www.hud.gov/fairhousing

The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® joins the nation in observing Fair Housing Month in April. This year marks the 44th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap.

“REALTORS® play a vital role in ensuring fair housing for all and strive every day to make home ownership accessible to everyone,” said Suzanne Yost, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®.

“REALTORS® are on the ‘front lines,’ working with buyers and sellers to see that they enjoy the benefits of a housing market free from discrimination.”

Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® abide by a Code of Ethics that provides under Article 10 that REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin and shall not be a party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

The home seller, the prospective home buyer, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law. Home sellers and landlords have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. They cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as their agent to convey any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate.

Buyers and renters have the right to expect that housing will be available without discrimination. This includes the right to expect:
• housing in their price range made available without discrimination
• equal professional service
• the opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
• no discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing
• no discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing
• reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities
• non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling
• freedom from harassment or intimidation for exercising their fair housing rights.

If you feel you have experienced discrimination in the rental, sale, financing or insuring of a property, you may file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Complaints must be filed within one year of the alleged discrimination. Visit http://www.dfeh.ca.gov for more information.

In recognition of Fair Housing Month in April, REALTORS® continue to reaffirm their commitment to equal access to housing and home ownership. Signed into law in 1968 and amended in 1988, the Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin.

“Fair housing is not an option; it’s the law,” said Gene Lentz, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® . “REALTORS®  are on the ‘front lines,’ working with buyers and sellers to see that they enjoy the benefits of a housing market free from discrimination.”

To mark Fair Housing Month, SILVAR on April 8 offered the National Association of REALTORS® ’ At Home with Diversity certification course for all REALTORS®  and affiliates. The course teaches real estate professionals how to increase their sensitivity and adaptability to future market trends and how to transact business across cultures, generations and other differences. More than 25,000 REALTORS®  have completed the program.

“People have a right to live wherever they can afford to live,” Lentz said. “Fair housing means opening those doors for everyone in this country whose goal it is to own a home.”

Lentz indicated Santa Clara County is among the most diverse counties in the U.S. The 2010 U.S. Census figures show the county grew by nearly 6 percent in the past decade. Much of the growth in population is attributed to a gain of about 140,000 Asians and 76,000 Latinos, yet minority home ownership comprises a very low percentage of the population.

“Diverse neighborhoods and schools strengthen communities, and minority population growth is vital to sustaining housing markets,” said Lentz.

Lentz said the home seller, the prospective home buyer and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law.

A home seller or landlord is required under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. They cannot instruct their agent to convey any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate.

Buyers or renters have the right to expect that housing will be available without discrimination, including  the right to expect housing in their  price range made available without discrimination; equal professional service; the opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices; no discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing; no discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing; reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities; non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling; and freedom from harassment or intimidation for exercising their fair housing rights.

People who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Complaints must be filed within one year of the alleged discrimination.

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