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Realtors Assoc. Apologizes for Racist Housing Policies

Courtesy of University of Maryland's T-Races project

The California Association of Realtors has apologized for supporting housing policies that previously sowed racial segregation in the State. Decades ago the group backed a racist proposition that served to overturn California's first fair housing law. The group was also one of many that were proponents of tactics aimed at dividing neighborhoods based on race. “This has been a very long time coming,” said Derrick Luckett, chair of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.

During a press conference last month, leaders of real estate organizations spoke about the next steps following the apology. The collective is now supporting a bill that aims to overturn a law that complicates the state's path to building more affordable housing. They have also partnered with non profits whose mission is to increase home ownership for communities of color. The group is pushing for laws that require real estate agents take implicit-bias training as well.

The Measures being implemented come on the heels of real estate organizations' long history of supporting racist practices throughout the 20th century- such as supporting a proposition to invalidate the California Fair Housing Act- a law passed in 1963 aimed at ending discrimination in housing. There was also the practice of "redlining" which was used extensively throughout the 20th century and was designed to deny people living in certain neighborhoods the possibility of qualifying for a home loan.

“For many of our members, this apology reflects the organization that we are today and are continuing to work to foster inclusion and belonging for all our members and our communities,” said Otto Catrina, president of the California Association of Realtors.

Read full story on KQED

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