As real estate licensees there are a lot of questions we can’t legally answer. Buyer’s relocating from one area to another have questions about neighborhoods, schools and crime. It is reasonable for consumers to believe that a real estate agent would be the go to person to ask these questions however we can’t legally answer these questions. “What kind of a neighborhood is this?” “How are the schools” “Is there a lot of crime” are all questions that because of Fair Housing Laws we can’t answer. The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees Fair Housing violations and this past week they have announced a new initiative, Ladders of Opportunity which will include stepped up enforcement of the Fair Housing laws. I do not know specifics about how these new initiatives and enforcement will effect New Orleans but this could be a really good thing.
Specifically, we are adding rungs on the ladder of opportunity by:
• stepping up fair housing enforcement;
• ensuring that all Americans have access to homeownership and can keep it; and
• helping the hardest hit communities rebuild stronger than ever before.
And in total, over the past three years, HUD’s investigative efforts have resulted in more than $65 million in compensation for more than 25,000 individuals that were allegedly subjected to housing discrimination.
While blatant, “in your face”, discrimination is still very real today – a quieter form of discrimination has emerged that is just as harmful to our country.
This was a key finding of a HUD report released on June 11th on Housing Discrimination Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities. It found that after an initial showing – real estate agents and rental housing providers recommend and show fewer available homes to minority families than equally qualified whites.
Full text of Secretary Sebiluss statements on the new initiative, Building Ladders of Opportunity