March 27, 2019

NAR Backs Fair Housing Act Change

Legislation was introduced on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, to amend the Fair Housing Act to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The provisions are included as part of H.R. 5, or the Equality Act, which was sponsored by Congressman David Cicillini (D-RI). NAR wrote a letter (see below) commending the Congressman and supporting the legislation.
Dear Representative Cicilline:

The National Association of REALTORS®, representing its 1.3 million members, supports H.R. 5, “The Equality Act,” particularly its inclusion of fair housing rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Fair housing is integral to our ability to buy, purchase, lease and occupy real estate in America, having protected our nation’s essential right to property for more than half a century. As NAR stated last year during the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, “Fair Housing Makes U.S. Stronger.”

Fair housing laws improve opportunities for employment, education and healthy communities, and NAR is proud of our commitment to equal housing opportunities. In 2010 and 2014, NAR amended its Code of Ethics to protect equal housing opportunities for those facing discrimination for sexual orientation and gender identity and supported legislation in Congress to add those same protections to the Fair Housing Act.

NAR’s Code of Ethics now requires all REALTORS® to provide equal professional services without discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity. This commitment extends to REALTORS® in all aspects of real estate, not limited to housing, and to their real estate related employment practices.

As NAR continues to work to ensure the American Dream is available and accessible to all Americans, we are pleased that Congress has taken steps to incorporate these protections into law, and we stand ready to work with Congress to support and promote the Equality Act.


John Smaby
2019 President
National Association of REALTORS®