Relators® gear up for Fair Housing focus 

Michelle Davis - 2024 NETAR President

Every April Realtors® celebrate and commemorate passage of the Fair Housing Act with events focusing on housing discrimination and segregation. For the Association, Fair Housing Month signifies an annual recommitment to expanding equal access to housing.  

NETAR President

Throughout the year, Realtors® check, educate, and hold themselves accountable for fair housing because That Who We R®. We use April to bring more awareness.  

The tenets of how Realtors® have embraced the Fair Housing Act are best illustrated with their Fair Housing Declaration. It reads: 

“I agree: 

    – Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of any community. 

    – Keep informed about fair housing law and practices, improving my clients’ and customers’ opportunities and my business. 

    – Develop advertising that shows that everyone is welcome, and no one is excluded; expanding my client’s and customer’s opportunities to see, buy, or lease property. 

    – Inform my clients and customers about their rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws by providing brochures and other information. 

    – Document my efforts to provide professional service, which will assist me in becoming a more responsive and successful Realtor®. 

    – Refuse to tolerate non-compliance. 

    – Learn about those who are different from me and celebrate those differences. 

    – Take a positive approach to fair housing practices and aspire to follow the spirit and the letter of the law. 

    – Develop and implement fair housing practices for my firm to carry out the spirit of this declaration.” 

While some may look at this as something to remember when putting together an ad or showing properties, others have a broader vision and commit to promoting fair housing and a better quality of life for everyone in their communities. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s good business.  

Housing is a major factor in defining a person’s quality of life and the vitality of the local economy. Housing typically accounts for about 14% of a locality’s total economy.  

Where you live affects your access to social, cultural, educational, and other community amenities. In other words, housing discrimination is a denial of the opportunity to fully enjoy the American Dream.  

Realtors® see and appreciate how important this principle is to their role in the ongoing effort to help improve the quality of neighborhoods and communities.  

Like many other facets of the real estate market, fair housing issues are constantly evolving. That’s why Realtors® keep up with those changes through continuing education – much of it from the National Association of Realtors®. Through that, they build a better understanding of the demographics of their communities and the changing needs of homeowners.  

 Of special concern to this part of the state is the realization that the overall population is aging, so new residents are the key to sustaining and growing our population. As the housing demands for an aging population and new residents arise, Realtors® will be there to serve them with a commitment to fair housing principles. 

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at