Fair Housing 2019: Our Impact, Our Opportunity

Fair Housing: Our Impact, Our Opportunity continued the discussions we began at last fall’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. We discussed how real estate brokers can have an impact on segregation and discrimination in housing, and the opportunities we have to help turn the tide towards a more fair process.


Chicago, today, in 2019, is the 2nd most segregated city in America. At the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, we’re working to actively make a difference. We have a wealth of resources available to you, so that you can better assist any and all clients in their biggest investment. NEIGHBORHOOD STATISTICS: We have a wealth of resources available on ChicagoREALTOR.com to help you get a full picture of a neighborhood based on facts, not assumptions. In particular, our FastStats neighborhood reports are super easy to download and share with clients. NETWORKING: It is so important to expand your network and do business with those who live, work and play in different areas of our city. We host a variety of networking events throughout the year. These are the perfect places to help expand your network. TRAINING: We also ensure REALTORS® have ample opportunities for training. Fair Housing courses are available as a part of our CE options, and every REALTOR® must take a Code of Ethics course within 30 days of their initial orientation, and every two years following. The next Code of Ethics deadline is December 31, 2020 – you can get a jump start on this at ChicagoREALTOR.com. VIDEO: Providing equal service to all is the basic tenet of federal fair housing law and part of NAR’s Code of Ethics. Following the troubling results of a newspaper’s fair housing investigation, NAR is making its latest fair housing training video available as a free download to all associations and members. Share it with your members, then watch nar.realtor for additional resources you can share with members to ensure their service is fair and legal. ADVOCACY: Along with NAR and the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, we support legislation to extend protections under the Fair Housing Act to the LGBT community.


Last fall, at our commemoration of 50 years of the Fair Housing Act, we announced our intent to form a diversity committee. Named “The 77” after the 77 various and unique neighborhoods in Chicago, it’s our goal to have a REALTOR® who either works, lives or practices in each of Chicago’s neighborhoods represented on the committee. This will allow us to better engage and provide the resources needed to make the practice of selling real estate a positive experience for all parties, and a benefit to the communities where transactions (or lack of transactions) occur. The committee will tackle topics including Fair Housing, economic development and engagement with local chambers of commerce and quasi-governmental bodies, such as TIF Boards. These efforts will be spearheaded by our chair, Alex Chaparro, Century 21 Affiliated. He is a former president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, co-founder of the NAHREP Chicago Chapter and previous Chairman of NAHREP National. We are thrilled to launch this initiative — keep an eye out for more information later this year.


If you believe you or your client has been a victim of a Fair Housing violation, we encourage you to report the violation. Learn how to file at each different authority at ChicagoREALTOR.com. 1. FILE AN ETHICS COMPLAINT If you believe a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics, you can file an ethics complaint through the local REALTOR® association where the REALTOR® holds membership or participates in a REALTOR® association-owned/operated MLS. File a complaint on our website or by emailing professionalstandards@chicagorealtor.com. 2. FILE A COMPLAINT WITH CHICAGO’S COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS If the housing unit where the violation occurred is located within Chicago’s city limits, file a discrimination complaint at the Commission on Human Relations within 180 days. There is no fee to file, and you may either self-file via email or mail, or file a complaint in person with the assistance of an investigator. 3. FILE A COMPLAINT WITH ILLINOIS’ DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS A charge of discrimination must be filed within 300 days after the alleged discriminatory action, or one year for a Fair Housing case. The processing involves several steps. Learn more about the process. 4. FILE A COMPLAINT WITH HUD If you believe you or your clients have experienced discrimination in renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, obtaining housing insurance, seeking housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities, you can file a complaint with HUD. You can also file a complaint if you believe you have been denied an equal opportunity to participate in a HUD program. You may file online, via email or mail, or over the phone.