LIBOR Supports NAR’s Apology for Past Policies that Contributed to Racial Inequality

The Long Island Board of REALTORS® (LIBOR) wholeheartedly supports the formal apology issued by newly installed National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Charlie Oppler, for the association’s past policies that contributed to segregation and racial inequality in America. During a recent virtual fair housing summit hosted by The Hill and co-sponsored by NAR, Oppler offered an emotional apology on behalf of the industry for NAR’s actions during a large part of the 20th century.

“What REALTORS® did was an outrage to our morals and our ideals. It was a betrayal of our commitment to fairness and equality. I’m here today, as the President of the National Association of REALTORS®, to say that we were wrong,” Oppler said. “We can’t go back to fix the mistakes of the past, but we can look at this problem squarely in the eye. And, on behalf of our industry, we can say that what REALTORS® did was shameful, and we are sorry.”

NAR initially opposed passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, and at one time allowed the exclusion of members based on race or sex. This discrimination was part of a systematic policy of residential racial segregation, led by the federal government and supported by America’s banking system and real estate industry, and driven by practices like redlining.

Oppler was joined by Bryan Greene, NAR’s director of Fair Housing Policy, who discussed the future efforts by NAR to lead the industry’s defense of fair housing.

“It underscores our commitment to greater accountability, culture change and better training,” said Greene.  “Accountability is really the key. We recognize we have to do more to self-test and -correct issues when we see them. We need to take a tough look at how existing patterns reinforce each other, and we need to improve the training we provide our members.”

Additionally, Greene referenced NAR’s recently implemented fair housing initiative, ACT, designed to highlight Accountability, Culture Change and Training in order to ensure REALTORS® lead in the fight against housing discrimination, while also partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Equality of Opportunity Initiative as part of a broad national effort to examine economic inequality and advance economic inclusion.  NAR is also working with the National Association of Real Estate Brokers and the Urban Institute to address to address the persistent low rates of African-American homeownership.

Locally, LIBOR as a trade organization is committed to promoting the principles of the Fair Housing Act.  In support of NAR’s ACT initiative, LIBOR has increased and improved education on Fair Housing, promotes implicit bias training, and offers Fair Housing resources and seminars. 

In addition to fair housing programs run throughout the year, during this November and December alone, LIBOR with the support of the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR), is offering its members complimentary access to 11 fair housing training classes, approved for 3 hours of Continuing Education credit. LIBOR has also developed and implemented tools and programs to help members understand fair housing policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

“I applaud my colleague and NAR President, Charlie Oppler for saying so eloquently what we know to be true here on Long Island, that the real estate industry has a special role to play in the fight for fair housing,” said LIBOR President Matthew Arnold. “As REALTORS® and leaders in our community, we are steadfast in helping to make the American Dream of homeownership a reality for all Long Islanders by actively promoting equality, inclusion and acceptance.”

About National Association of REALTORS®
The National Association of REALTORS® is America's largest trade association, representing 1.4 million members, including NAR's institutes, societies, and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Press Release Contact:
Christina DeFalco-Romano
Communications Manager
(631) 661-4800 Ext. 358

Long Island Board of REALTORS®, Inc. (also known as LIBOR) is a 30,000-member, not-for-profit trade association that serves real estate professionals throughout Nassau, Suffolk and Queens counties. Founded over 100 years ago, LIBOR is the fourth-largest local REALTOR® board in the United States.