FAIR HOUSING & DIVERSITY
Equal Opportunity For All
Fair housing laws are a cornerstone of community, here in the Northern Rhode Island real estate industry and throughout the country. As REALTORS® it is our commitment to uphold fair housing laws and offer equal professional service to all in their search of real property. Members can access numerous Fair Housing resources from the Association here.
There are federally protected classes and state-specific protected classes nationwide. On a Federal level, you cannot discriminate against individuals on the basis of:
• National Origin
• Familial Status
Rhode Island has 5 additional protected classes, which include:
– Gender Identity / Expression
– Marital Status
– Military Status
– Sexual Orientation
– Status as a Victim of Domestic Abuse
– Country of Ancestral Origin
– Housing Status
– Lawful Source of Income
If you are a consumer and you believe your rights to fair housing have been violated, you:
1. May file a complaint with US Department of Housing and Urban Development (or HUD). Cases will then be assigned to the Rhode Island office.
2. Contact the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. You have up to one (1) year to file from the date of the incident but in any event, contact the RICHR as soon as possible so they may investigate the charge.
3. Contact the agent’s broker. If you have a complaint about an agent, contact that agent’s Broker to help you with your problem. Or the Broker can refer you to their local Board of REALTORS®, where you may file a complaint.
4. File an Ethics complaint with a local Board of REALTORS®. In Rhode Island we have 5 local Boards. The complaint would be filed with the local Board that the agent in question is a member of. A listing of NRIBR members can be found here.
National Multicultural Real Estate Organizations
Use the directory (link) to reach out to the local chapters or boards of the four national multicultural real estate organizations.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Northern Rhode Island Board of REALTORS® is committed to celebrating and welcoming diversity in all facets of our organization and in everything we do. Throughout our mission and strategic plan this is a priority for our Association. Our members are individuals from every walk of life and background that contribute to the rich fabric of society.
Members of the Northern Rhode Island Board are REALTORS®. REALTORS® are held to a strict Code of Ethics as a condition of membership. They must treat all clients, members of the public, and each other equally, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The REALTOR® commitment to diversity and equality is the strongest in real estate, going a step farther than the federal Fair Housing Act, which does not include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes against housing discrimination.
Members are asked to view this 50-minute video prepared by the National Association of REALTORS® and the Perception Institute to help REALTORS® recognize unconscious biases that arise in our day-to-day lives:
Members are asked to test their fair housing knowledge by visiting Fairhaven – a new fair housing simulation training for REALTORS® that uses the power of storytelling to help members identify, prevent, and address discriminatory practices in real estate. Inspired by real stories, this innovative online experience has agents work against the clock to sell homes in the fictional town of Fairhaven, while confronting discrimination in the home buying process. Brokers are encouraged to incorporate Fairhaven into their office’s professional training for licensees.