Printer Friendly

STATE REALTORS ASSOCIATION ADOPTS POLICY ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION

 STATE REALTORS ASSOCIATION ADOPTS POLICY ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing to lead the way in equal opportunity in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors recently adopted a policy affirming the rights of all individuals to fair housing regardless of "sexual orientation."
 The new policy was created to add "sexual orientation" as a protected class in the housing industry.
 Pennsylvania law makes it illegal to discriminate against protected classes which include age, familial status, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap and disability. Under Pennsylvania law, "sexual orientation" is not covered as a protected class.
 Sandra L. Stevens, PAR president, said, "The new policy re-affirms Realtors' commitment to fair housing in Pennsylvania."
 She said that position also commits PAR to support legislation in the General Assembly which would officially add "sexual orientation" to the list of protected classes under Pennsylvania law.
 PAR representatives will make a presentation to the National Association of Realtors Equal Opportunity Committee at its National Convention on Nov. 12-17 in Honolulu asking it to adopt a similar stance.
 The state association's position was approved upon recommendation of its Equal Opportunity Committee.
 Stephen Snell, PAR Equal Opportunity Committee chairman, said the recommendation was made after the Committee heard testimony about the current level of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the housing market.
 "Realtors in Pennsylvania have been leading the way in eliminating housing discrimination by upholding the federal Fair Housing Law and state regulations and educating the public about the laws. Realtors are legally and ethically bound by state and federal laws and the NAR Code of Ethics to protect individuals from housing discrimination," Stevens said.
 In the commonwealth, Realtors have been in the forefront of eliminating housing discrimination for many years.
 On July 20, PAR renewed its commitment to provide consumers the opportunity for fair housing by signing a newly revised Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement (VAMA) designed to create more flexibility in its approach to fair housing.
 The VAMA was first established in 1975 between NAR and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to ensure fair housing practices in the real estate industry by providing signatories with guidelines on marketing, advertising, training and education for Realtors and the public. The VAMA also encourages cooperation with community-based fair housing and civil rights groups.
 Stevens said, "This agreement punctuates NAR's Code of Ethics which calls for Realtors to be committed to equal housing opportunity for everyone."
 The latest renewal of VAMA includes: revisions to the original agreement that provide more user-friendly guidelines and give signatories greater flexibility in their efforts to adhere to fair housing principles in their daily business.
 Changes in the new VAMA include: standardizing the size of the fair housing logo required in display advertising; requiring participating state and local association of realtors to conduct self-assessments of their fair housing-related efforts and the efforts of their member firms; providing HUD with the opportunity to spot check the efforts of VAMA participants to ensure fair housing principles are being followed; requiring Realtor associations to seek a cooperative approach with community-based fair housing and civil rights groups to identify and remove barriers to equal opportunity in housing in the community; and requiring, for the first time, Realtors to develop, adopt and implement procedures for fair housing marketing, advertising and office management.
 In addition to VAMA, PAR has been working with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in the fight for fair housing. On April 8, 1987, PAR and the PHRC -- which is the state agency responsible for enforcing fair housing laws -- issued precedent-setting Residential Real Estate Guidelines designed for its members to protect the public from discrimination. Based on the experiences of PAR and the commission, The Guidelines contain detailed practical suggestions to prevent real and perceived acts of discrimination in the sale, rental and marketing of residential property. The Guidelines are given to all new members and made available to others upon request.
 The standards were the first in the nation to be jointly developed by a statewide housing group and a civil rights enforcement agency.
 In 1974, PAR and PHRC accomplished another first when they entered into a statewide agreement to implement a broad affirmative action, educational and preventive program to further compliance with fair housing laws. The agreement helps reaffirm that civil rights will not be a competitive consideration in real estate.
 The "Voice for Real Estate in Pennsylvania," PAR is comprised of more than 26,500 members involved in all phases of real estate throughout the commonwealth.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/13/92
 /CONTACT: Ty L. Smith, communciations coordinator of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, 717-561-1303/ CO: Pennsylvania Association of Realtors ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MJ-LJ -- PH016 -- 9229 10/13/92 10:34 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1992
Words:786
Previous Article:CIBA-GEIGY REPORTS SALES FOR THE FIRST THREE QUARTER OF 1992
Next Article:CORNELIUS C. SMITH JR. JOINS ENVIRON CORPORATION SUBSIDIARY OF APPLIED BIOSCIENCE INTERNATIONAL INC. AS PRINCIPAL
Topics:


Related Articles
FAIR HOUSING GUIDE HELPS REALTORS OFFER EQUAL RENTAL OPPORTUNITIES
NAR/CFA LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO STRENGTHEN CONSUMER SAFEGUARDS
NAR SAYS APPRAISAL THRESHOLD FOR RESIDENTIAL LOANS SHOULD REMAIN
ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT OF REALTOR BOARDS IN PENNSYLVANIA SIGN FAIR HOUSING AGREEMENT
California Association of REALTORS(R) Standard Forms Adopted by Market Leaders in Key San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Market.
Florida Association of Realtors(R) Announces New Public Policy VP.
Jacksonville Realtor Elected President of Florida's Largest Professional Association.
Pinellas County Realtor Elected Treasurer of Florida's Largest Professional Association.
Fort Myers Realtor Elected 2004 Secretary of Florida's Largest Professional Association.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters