Fair Housing Resources

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® fully supports the practice of equal opportunity and fair housing. Chicago’s history with fair housing is long and complex. Our association’s is, as well. In order for us to move forward, it’s important to recognize our history with fair housing and discrimination.

April 2024 Happenings

News from the blog
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Don’t Miss “Shame of Chicago, Shame of a Nation” Docuseries Starting April 18th On Thursday, April 11, we hosted an exclusive screening of the new docuseries “Shame of Chicago, Shame of A Nation” followed by a panel discussion with the docuseries’ producer Chris […]

The History of Fair Housing in Chicago

This historical video was compiled for and aired at the 50th anniversary of Fair Housing commemorative event in October 2018:

Chicago REALTORS® History of Inclusion

  • 1950: Admitted Women Members
  • 1963: Admitted Black Members

Chicago REALTORS® Presidential Firsts

  • 1978: Marion Manor (First African American/Black President) 
  • 1986: Lorraine Johnson (First Woman President)
  • 2005: Nancy Suvarnamani (First Asian American President) 
  • 2006: Alex Chapparo (First Latino President)

Acknowledgement & Apology

At our 50th anniversary of Fair Housing commemorative event in October 2018, Chicago Association of REALTORS® President Tommy Choi, with the unanimous support of our Board of Directors, delivered remarks recognizing and apologizing for the association’s historical role in discriminatory practices in housing. Read and watch those remarks here.

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Coming Up in 2024!

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation is proud to sponsor the Inspired By YOU! community festival on Sunday, June 30, 2024. This community festival showcases community arts, goods, music and locally crafted goods. We will be providing 100 kits to the community filled with feminine care products, diapers, wipes and other essentials.

DIVERSITY COMMITTEE – THE D77

In 2019, we formed our Diversity Committee: the D77. The D77, named after Chicago’s 77 unique neighborhoods, has at least one representative from each of Chicago’s neighborhoods to ensure a wide representation of our membership. The D77 will:

  • Tackle topics like fair housing and economic development.
  • Engage with local chambers of commerce and quasi-governmental bodies (i.e. TIF Boards).
  • Seek placemaking grant opportunities.
  • Serve (via a designated representative) each community and provide local REALTORS® with answers to frequently asked questions, advice and association information.

Educational Events, Classes & Dialogues

Annual 360° Summit Event

Forward-thinking DEI requires a 360-degree view of where the Chicago real estate industry has come from, where we are and where we’re going. That’s where the Chicago REALTORS® 360° Summit comes in.

In June 2022, we hosted the first-ever DEI-focused event, 360° Summit: Leading with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, where we discussed how we can build equitable solutions to shape the future of our city. We also talked about how we can re-think the client experience to be more inclusive and best show up as allies.

The 360° Summit has become an annual signature event, featuring keynote speakers, panels of experts and open dialogues. Read takeaways from the 2023 Summit, and find the next summit on our events calendar.

Fair Housing Training For REALTORS®

In 2023, we released a revamped Fair Housing course in collaboration with the National Fair Housing Alliance. The course is highly engaging with audio that guides students through interactions and case studies. Most importantly, the course addresses how certain practices and statements may signal bias to clients, and how you can eliminate or avoid those biases moving forward.

Mentorship & Leadership Development

We ran our first Leadership Accelerator program in 2022 to develop our future leadership where diverse leaders can grow in their careers and leadership journey. The program has a strong DEI and fair housing focus, most notably through the following practices:

  1. To develop leaders who are representative of the communities we serve, we value and highlight involvement in our multi-cultural industry partners through the application process.
  2. The program content has a strong focus on DEI in terms of the history of fair housing, housing discrimination in the communities we serve (and how we can address it as future leaders), the use of inclusive language in communicating our values and extensive implicit bias training.
  3. Each cohort is exposed to a diverse set of opportunities and experiences to help them understand the challenges in the real estate industry and their work as REALTOR® leaders.

As of 2024, the third-annual Leadership Accelerator cohort has continued. Members of the cohort have gone on to serve on our board of directors, as chairs of industry committees, as leaders within their brokerages and more.

Community Grants & Investment

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation contributes to the future of real estate and our diverse communities through education, charitable giving and outreach. We are currently investing in several organizations focused on fair housing and affordable housing, such as:

  • Back on My Feet | Aiding unhoused people in gaining independence and living skills.
  • Spanish Coalition for Housing | Providing services like financial education, foreclosure education, landlord certification and more.
  • Mercy Housing | Supporting the building and managing of affordable housing communities across the country; the Foundation “adopted” three houses in Illinois.
  • Renaissance Social Services | Providing rapid re-housing, supportive permanent housing, behavioral health care and more in Chicago.
  • Sarah’s Circle | Providing housing, life necessities and supportive services for women.
  • Southwest Collective | Supporting unhoused family services on Chicago’s southwest side.

Small Business Grants

Throughout 2022, the Chicago Association of REALTORS® recognized a select number of small business owners who have made a significant, lasting impact within their communities. Business owners with a brick-and-mortar location impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, applied and received a $1,000 grant each.

Meet the grant recipients and support their businesses!

Supporting Our Industry Partners

Are you familiar with our multi-cultural Industry Partners? These organizations actively advance diversity, equity and inclusion through advocacy, professional development and community.

We partner with the local chapters of other real estate associations to enhance opportunities for professional development, networking and advocacy efforts for our mutual members. Learn more about our industry partners here.

NAR’s FAIR HOUSING ACTION PLAN

The National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) Fair Housing Action Plan (passed in 2020), abbreviated ‘ACT,’ emphasizes (A)ccountability, (C)ulture Change, and (T)raining in order to ensure America’s 1.4 million REALTORS® are doing everything possible to protect housing rights in America.

Illinois REALTORS® Discriminatory Appraisals Task Force

The Illinois REALTORS®, which is dedicated to eradicating discrimination in every facet of real estate transactions, created the Discriminatory Appraisals Task Force in December 2020. The 22-member task force is comprised of Illinois REALTORS® members, lenders and appraisers from across the state.

They maintain and update a resource page to help REALTORS and their clients better understand the appraisal process, head off problems before they start, or navigate serious issues if they arise. 

More Illinois REALTORS® diversity resources.


Training & Resources

AT HOME WITH DIVERSITY COURSE

At Home With Diversity is an educational experience designed to present a picture of the changing face of the real estate industry. More importantly, the class teaches how real estate professionals can increase their sensitivity and adaptability to future market trends. Additionally, you will learn to thrive as an effective service provider and community leader. The course addresses issues of diversity, fair housing, and cultural differences. All three subjects are closely related and have value for real estate professionals who must serve diverse local markets.

FAIR HOUSING EDUCATION AT the Chicago Association of REALTORS®

The REALTORS® Real Estate School offers a wide variety of topics and course formats designed for real estate professionals and taught by local subject-matter-experts.

From certifications to continuing education, choose between in-person courses and live webinars.

NEW! FAIRHAVEN: A FAIR HOUSING SIMULATION

A new interactive training platform designed to help combat discrimination in America’s real estate market – made available at no cost to real estate professionals throughout the country, Fairhaven is an immersive simulation where agents work against the clock to close four deals, confronting various scenarios where discrimination enters into the transaction. The training also provides customized feedback to help real estate professionals incorporate fair housing principles in their daily interactions.

Fairhaven comes as part of NAR’s ACT! Initiative, the association’s fair housing action plan that emphasizes Accountability, Culture Change and Training to promote equal opportunity in real estate.

BIAS OVERRIDE: OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO FAIR HOUSING VIDEO

The mind science experts at the Perception Institute present an online workshop to help members avoid implicit bias in their daily business interactions. Drawing upon the latest evidence-based research, Perception explains how our brains’ automatic, instant association of stereotypes with particular groups can cause us to treat those who are different from us unfairly, despite our best intentions and often without our conscious awareness.

Perception then applies these concepts to the everyday work of REALTORS®, and offers strategies to override bias in order to convey respect, ensure fairness, and improve business relationships.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® FAIR HOUSING FIELD GUIDE

The NAR Fair Housing Program includes the latest Fair Housing News, free fair housing products, useful links and the REALTOR® Fair Housing Declaration.

NAR FAIR HOUSING TRAINING VIDEO

Providing equal service to all is the basic tenet of federal fair housing law and part of NAR’s Code of Ethics. NAR’s fair housing training video is available as a free download to all associations and members. Ensure your service is fair and legal.


How to Report A Fair Housing Violation

If you believe you or your client has been a victim of a Fair Housing violation, we encourage you to report the violation to both the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards staff, as well as the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, which enforces the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance and the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance. 

FILE AN ETHICS COMPLAINT 

If you believe that a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics, you can file an ethics complaint alleging a violation(s) 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 ps@chicagorealtor.com

“REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. (Amended 1/23)”

– Article 10, REALTOR® Code of Ethics

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 365 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. Click here to file and access available resources.

FILE A COMPLAINT WITH COOK COUNTY’S COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS 

Additionally, if the housing unit where the violation occurred is located within Cook County, file a discrimination complaint at the Commission on Human Relations within 180 days. There is no fee to file. Explore more about the complaint process.

Protected ClassesChicagoCook CountyIllinoisUS
RaceXXXX
ColorXXXX
SexXXXX
Gender IdentityXXX
AgeXXX
ReligionXXXX
DisabilityXXXX
National OriginXXXX
AncestryXXX
Sexual OrientationXXX
Marital StatusXXX
Parental StatusXXXX
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Housing StatusX
Order of Protection StatusX

FILE A COMPLAINT WITH ILLINOIS’ DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS 

Discrimination is prohibited under the Human Rights Act on the bases of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, ancestry, military status, age (40 and over), order of protection status, marital status, sexual orientation (which includes gender-related identity), pregnancy, unfavorable military discharge and physical and mental disability.  The Act also prohibits discrimination based on familial status in real estate transactions. 

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 of a charge filed with the Department involves several steps. Learn more about the process here.

FILE A COMPLAINT WITH HUD 

If you believe you 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. Here’s what you need to know.

Learn more about where you should file a complaint here.


FAIR HOUSING ASSETS

REALTORS® are committed to creating fair housing opportunities for everyone. Be a champion for fair housing by sharing NAR’s social media materials.

Either click here to access the assets or personalize the materials in the Photofy app. To download the app:

  • Visit photofy.com/nar.
  • At the bottom of the page, fill out the information under “Get Started with Photofy Today.” You will need your NRDS ID number for this!
  • Open the email from Photofy and download the app on your device.
  • Once the app is downloaded, open it. Click “Business Sign In” on the homepage and log in with your information, including your username and password.
  • You should be directed to the NAR member screen. If you are not, tap “NAR Member” at the bottom of the screen to switch views.
  • Click the template option to add a photo or logo to and share. Logos or photos can be taken from your device’s photos, your social channels or your Dropbox.

Fair Housing Book Recommendations

Check out the following books that address and provide in-depth details about the history of fair housing in Chicago, discrimination in real estate, restrictive covenants and more.

Did you know, as a member perk, you have access to the free NAR Library & Archives, the world’s largest real estate library? Check out all the books you can rent, free of charge, here.


DEI & Fair Housing Event Playback Videos

To view the full Fair Housing virtual event recording playlist, select the dropdown arrow in the upper left hand corner. Then, select the video.