EY helps National Association of REALTORS® tackle housing discrimination
More than 50 years after passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, housing discrimination and residential racial segregation remain pervasive throughout the United States.
More than 50 years after passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, housing discrimination and residential racial segregation remain pervasive throughout the United States. Access to quality housing and neighborhoods impacts the health, wealth, and educational and employment opportunities of individuals and families now and for future generations.
“When real estate professionals join the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), they agree to adhere to our Code of Ethics, which commits them to a high standard of competency, fairness and integrity in their business operations,” said NAR President Charlie Oppler. “A strong commitment to fair housing promotes the ability of NAR to serve customers in a culturally diverse real estate environment.”
In January 2020, NAR launched its ACT! plan — a slate of fair housing initiatives intended to stamp out discrimination in the real estate market. As part of the initiative, NAR teamed with the EY organization to deliver an innovative simulation to help prevent and address discriminatory practices in real estate.
The award-winning EY instructional designers, software architects, content producers and media designers developed a simulation based on NAR’s insights to illustrate instances of discrimination and provide agents with realistic understanding of how their biases impact individuals’ experiences.
The simulation allows participants to assume the role of both client and agent to better understand each side of the transaction. Participants will experience numerous scenarios, each offering an opportunity to experience real-life approaches to help make their businesses more inclusive and equitable.
“Awareness and action on discrimination is a must for any modern business or association, and in a client-facing industry, it gives organizations a significant competitive advantage,” said Jonathan Sears, Principal, People Advisory Services, Ernst & Young LLP. “Engaging people in authentic, immersive experiences can drive behavioral change in ways that are more impactful than traditional methods. We are proud to support NAR’s efforts to enable positive change with its member firms and society overall.”
NAR’s program will be offered to all of its 1.4 million members via an online web portal and to brokerage firms and REALTOR® associations throughout the country as a relevant, practical tool to help real estate agents combat discrimination in the housing industry and their own communities.