In 1964, California Realtors sponsored a statewide billboard in defense of “freedom of choice.”
But Realtors were not lobbying for religious freedom or free speech. They advocated the freedom of property owners to refuse housing to blacks, Latinos, Asians, and other non-whites.
The 1964 campaign representing Proposition 14, which repealed the state’s fair housing laws by a wide margin, was the latest in a decades-long effort to sow the seeds of housing segregation that continues to this day. It’s not too much.
“The real estate industry[and]the REALTORS ASSOCIATION basically created housing segregation,” says Gene Slater, author of the book.Freedom to Discriminate: How Real Estate Agents Colluded to Separate Homes and Divide America“
“There was no racism in the early 1900s,” said Slater. “To organize racism, we needed the organization of a real estate commission.”
This month, the California Real Estate Association decided it was time to assess its legacy and reject a 1964 campaign to overturn the state’s fair housing laws and its history of discriminatory practices.
“This organization has an unfortunate history of pursuing discriminatory policies,” CAR 2022 president Otto Katrina said at a news conference in Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 21. “I am here to say that the association was wrong.
The announcement culminated in an emotional gut check that began earlier this year when several Bay Area members of the association’s diversity committee called for an apology, Katrina said. The council agreed, voted and formally issued the metrics at a meeting in Long Beach earlier this month.
“We’ve been working on this for a while,” Katrina said. “We wanted to make it official.”
The California Realtor’s apology is part of a larger, national reckoning that has played an industry role in promoting racism since the early 1900s.of Chicago Real Estate Association Apologizes 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Federal Fair Housing Act.of The National Association of Realtors issued a similar apology In November 2020, it was followed by a recent apology by a real estate agent. Atlanta, St. Louis When Minneapolis.
Realtors at least publicly accepted fair housing after the passage of the Federal Fair Housing Act in 1968, Slater said.
Other signs of a break with the association’s discriminatory past have emerged in recent years. In the spring of 2018, the National Association withdrew its endorsement of U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher for re-election. Orange County Republicans argued home sellers should have the right to discriminate Against gays and lesbians.
In 2020, the California Association of Realtors invited Newsday reporters to a conference about a newspaper undercover investigation that revealed Long Island real estate agents continued to direct clients to their neighborhoods based on race. We talked.
“NAR has been considering this history for some time,” said Bryan Greene, the NAR’s vice president of policy advocacy and the NAR’s first director of fair housing policy. “There is growing awareness in various communities of how real estate policies are impacting racial inequality nationally and in various communities.”
Several people at Friday’s press conference applauded CAR’s decision to apologize.
“I want to thank God for this historic moment. A 75-year-old organization of American-American real estate professionals, he said.
“Many people have been denied wealth and rights they should have,” Raquette added. “And from this point on, I hope we’re in a better place, a better space. Ultimately, one thing to make sure we’re all fighting for democracy.” It will be a big group. Housing on a level playing field.”
Dolores Golden, chief executive of the Multicultural Real Estate Alliance for Urban Transformation, said the apology supports open housing and redlines a 20th-century practice that limits mortgages in minority areas. He said it was a step toward making a concerted effort to eradicate it.
“We all applaud CAR for this apology,” Golden said. “We accept and support it.”
Integration fell apart
Historians document a different America in the early 20th century, saying that many American cities were consolidated before practices such as exclusive zoning and pledges of racially restricted acts took place.
Mr. Slater said that realtors were required by the Federal Housing Administration to require such deed clauses or other barriers as a condition for funding housing development during the post-World War II housing boom. He said he proposed to
“In the segregated South, it was the government that did the segregation,” said Tom Hogen-Esch, director of the Political Science Division in Northridge, Calif. “On the West Coast, it was the private sector that satisfied the desire for segregated communities. The real estate industry was one of the factors that contributed to racial and class segregation.”
Hogen-Esch said real estate agents contribute to segregation primarily through steering and blockbusting practices. They keep clients away from ‘bad neighborhoods’ and ‘bad schools’. Or spread rumors about African Americans taking over neighborhoods and buying homes cheaply from panic sellers.
According to Hogen-Esch, housing discrimination continues, partly because regulation is so difficult.
Washington Post and other media outlets documented How Home Values Are Often Affected by Raceblack-owned homes are rated poorly, and white-owned homes or black-owned homes where white acquaintances act as owners are rated high.
The legacy of discrimination continues. According to U.S. Census data, 64.5% of white, non-Hispanic Californians will be homeowners in 2021, compared to 35.5% of black households in the state, 45.6% of Latinx households, and Asian households. 61.2% of them were homeowners.
The denial of homeownership led to lower home valuations and contributed to the increase in white household wealth. CAR reports that less than half of black households earn the minimum income needed to buy a home.
“Homeownership is a key component in building intergenerational wealth and economic security for working people,” Katrina said at a press conference on Friday. It plays a unique role in the battle over.”
Specifically, CAR leaders supported two measures in the 1950s and 1960s that impacted the ability of low-income and minority residents to access housing. Denied the role of the association.
They include support for Article 34 of 1950required voter approval for public housing projects, making it difficult to build affordable housing in the state. Proposition 14the 1964 ballot measure that overturned the Rumford Act, California’s fair housing law.
Article 34 remains in force despite many efforts to repeal it. However, in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Proposition 14 in a lawsuit filed by Santa Ana tenants Lincoln and Dorothy Mulkey.
The state’s National Realtor Group has taken many actions to support homeownership in underserved communities, including repealing Section 34 and supporting other laws that promote fair housing. outlined.
The association also partners with housing groups in the Los Angeles, Riverside and Bay Area cities of Richmond to provide grants of up to $10,000 to help minority homebuyers pay the costs of closing. The program has distributed or is currently processing $755,000 in grants and has approved an additional $250,000 for future grants.
Donations are also being made to the Black Wealth Builders Fund to provide down payments for minority homebuyers.
“This is a step in the right direction,” said Hogen-Esch. “It has been long overdue for the industry to take responsibility for the role it has played in segregation.”
https://www.dailynews.com/2022/10/23/realtor-reckoning-takes-stock-of-industrys-contribution-to-housing-segregation/ Real Estate Calculators Assess Industry’s Contribution to Housing Segregation – Daily News