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CEO Corner: Discussing the Impact of Fair Housing

by McGee, Michael on

Chad Dion Lassiter
Lassiter

Chad Dion Lassiter, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, recently talked with me about fair housing and how this affects communities. Lassiter has been with the PHRC since 2018 and previously served as the executive director of the Red Cross House with the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania and a Professor of Race Relations at West Chester University.

Lassiter noted in our conversation that the national Fair Housing Act emerged from the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He said the act recognizes that housing is not just a fundamental right, but a human right and that housing discrimination is pervasive. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing against people based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status.

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission enforces state laws that prohibit discrimination and through its Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, it investigates fair housing violations.

Lassiter commented that most Realtors® are following the Fair Housing Act. When they meet with a prospective homebuyer, whether at a home or an apartment, the Realtors® are inviting, extremely professional and they see the humanity of the individuals in front of them. And then there are Realtors® who historically and contemporary have discriminated against people because of racism and other variables like maybe the clients are a same-sex couple, an interracial couple, maybe a couple with children or maybe someone who has a guide dog.

Recently, the National Association of Realtors® has put an additional focus on its commitment to fair housing to ensure that Realtors® lead the fight against housing discrimination. NAR introduced its online fair housing training simulation, Fairhaven.realtor, which allows Realtors® to learn more about fair housing from both the agent and consumer perspectives.

Watch the video to hear more of my fair housing conversation with Chad.



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