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Fair Housing Laws, Regulations and Ordinances

As Realtors®, your real estate activities are governed by fair housing laws, regulations and ordinances at the federal, state and local levels, as well as by the Realtor® Code of Ethics. It’s important to know the various sets of rules and how to structure your practice to ensure that you’re following the rules at all times. Realtors® and brokers may act with the best of intentions without realizing that their actions and words may be misinterpreted by consumers.

Realtors®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.

National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics
National Fair Housing Act
Americans with Disabilities Act
Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

Fair Housing Resources

  • Assistance Animals

    PAR developed a flowchart and frequently asked questions to help Realtors® provide guidance to landlord clients in how they can best comply with the laws.

    Learn more

  • Local DEI Activites

    Learn more about activities that local associations' DEI Committees are doing.

    Learn More

National Association of Realtors® Resources

  • Fairhaven

    This fair housing simulation is an innovative online training where agents work against the clock to sell homes in the fictional town of Fairhaven, while confronting discrimination in the homebuying process.

  • Fair Housing Action Plan

    NAR’s Fair Housing Action Plan (ACT Initiative) – 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.

Multicultural Real Estate Organizations

AREAA: Asian Real Estate Association – strives to promote sustainable homeownership opportunities in Asian American communities.

NAHREP – National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals – dedicated to advancing sustainable Hispanic homeownership.

NAREB – National Association of Real Estate Brokers - works to implement programs, events and solutions that are all geared to fight the low homeownership numbers in Black America.

Local chapters:

Central Pennsylvania Association of Realtist

Philadelphia Metropolitan Board of Realtist

National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals – works to increase homeownership in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community as it relates to housing and discrimination laws.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Book Recommendations

  • American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass by Douglas S. Massey
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Biased by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD
  • Brave New Home by Diana Lind
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Evicted by Matthew Desmond
  • How to be An Anti-Racist by Ibram Kendi
  • Inclusify by Dr. Stefanie Johnson
  • Not in My Neighborhood by Anthony Pietila
  • Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Attallah Shabazz Malcolm X
  • The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America by Lawrence T. Brown
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated American by Richard Rothstein
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • The Sum of Us by Heather McGee
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho

Local Nondiscrimination Ordinances

According to information provided by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, these municipalities have local nondiscrimination ordinances that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation as of August 19, 2019. This is not a comprehensive list and it is best to contact individual local municipalities to determine whether a nondiscrimination ordinance has been enacted.

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
333 Market Street, 8th floor | Harrisburg, PA 17126
(717) 787-4410

Discrimination is illegal in PA. Get the facts about equal opportunity at www.phrc.pa.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who's protected by state and national Fair Housing Laws?
What is required when talking to clients in person versus the telephone or online?
Who should be pre-qualifed?
What questions can I ask when talking with a prospective client?