OUR MISSION: The Whitman County Association of REALTORS® provides tools and resources for REALTORS® to better serve their clients and community.
Photos courtesy of Mike Gordon & Kris Finch
NAR is committed to making housing fair for all. And yet, many don’t realize the broad scope of NAR’s Code of Ethics and its commitment against all forms of discrimination in housing.
As a champion for Fair Housing, help amplify this message by leveraging these materials. Or download the Photofy app to easily personalize pre-loaded campaign content with your photo, logo, or contact information and share to your social media accounts.
“Steering” is the practice of influencing a buyer’s choice of communities based upon one of the protected characteristics under the Fair Housing Act, which are race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin. Steering occurs, for example, when real estate agents do not tell buyers about available properties that meet their criteria, or express views about communities, with the purpose of directing buyers away from or towards certain neighborhoods due to their race or other protected characteristic. If a client requests a “nice,” “good,” or “safe” neighborhood, a real estate professional could unintentionally steer a client by excluding certain areas based on his or her own perceptions of what those terms means.
Despite being illegal under the Fair Housing Act, a recent investigation conducted by the newspaper Newsday has shown that steering continues to be pervasive. Newsday had real estate agents show properties to one white tester and one minority tester (either African American, Hispanic, or Asian) with similar housing needs and financial capabilities. The investigation revealed that in 24% of cases, the real estate agents directed the white tester into differing communities from the minority testers, suggesting evidence of steering.
The following best practices will help you steer clear of steering:
In a surprise move on July 1, the U.S. Congress cleared legislation extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), popular with REALTORS®, through August 8.
The measure was signed by President Trump on July 4.
Created by the CARES Act in March, PPP offers forgivable loans for small businesses to pay expenses and keep workers on the payroll. Loans are also available to independent contractors. Although the program quickly ran out of money, it was injected with new funding a month later. The application period for the program ended on Tuesday with $130 billion still unallocated.
“This extension is great news. Congress heard our concerns that small businesses still need help, and this program should remain available as long as there are funds,” says Shannon McGahn, senior vice president of government affairs at NAR. “We have been working with lawmakers to make both the application and forgiveness process easier, and we are helping our members through both with guides and instructional videos.”
Just last week, a new shorter EZ application loan forgiveness form was released by the Small Business Administration, and full forgiveness was granted to independent contractors and sole proprietors who meet certain guidelines.
NAR has also called on Congress to automatically forgive all loans under $150,000.
“Congress is expected to pass a new Coronavirus relief bill by the end of July. McGhan says. “Negotiations really heated up this week on what form it will take as the pandemic continues to evolve. Small business aid will be restructured and live on in some form, and NAR is working with Congress to make sure the self-employed and independent contractors are included,” she continues. “It’s critical the real estate industry stays strong and continues to lead our national recovery.”
To-date the PPP has paid out more than a half-trillion dollars to around five million businesses.
Check out this video explanation on how Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients may be eligible for and apply for loan forgiveness if certain criteria are met. You’ll find easy to understand instructions for completing the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508EZ with examples for self-employed borrowers.