What actually is a home? Is it simply a structure that provides shelter from the elements? To some, yes. They are not proud of their home; it is not what they necessarily want in a home, but it does provide them some shelter.
However, even to them, it is more than just a means of protection from the weather; It’s more than a structure—it’s a sense of identity. One of the first questions out of someone’s mouth when introductions are made is, “Where do you live?” And how do we answer? “Oh, I live in _______ neighborhood on such-n-such Street.” If we love where we live, we are quick to elaborate on why we love it. If we don’t love it, we say something like, “It’s only temporary,” or, “It’s what I could afford.” Where we choose to call home is where we connect with others; where we make memories, whether good or bad. Families either thrive or survive, but either way, home is important.
The Fair Housing Act, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., protects the right of every person in America to live where they choose, but it doesn’t necessarily say that everyone as the ability to live where they’d like. Sometimes where we want to live is not affordable for us. Sometimes we live where we can, not necessarily where we choose. But what happens to those who are discriminated against, who are willing to make sacrifices (either in where they live or doing without other conveniences) but are refused that right?
In light of April being Fair Housing Month, The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has recently issued regulations addressing the Fair Housing Act and how it affects local governments receiving Community Development Block Grants and other housing funds from HUD. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and other organizations expect that these regulations will help communities become more active in their efforts to promote fair housing and equal opportunity. As a REALTOR®, I have a moral and ethical duty to treat everyone fairly, as stated in Article 10 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics:
“REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
As you think on your blessings of having a place to call home, please also understand and support those who are wanting to make a better life for their family by choosing where they live. As a REALTOR®, I’m doing my part because it’s who I am and what I believe.
If you’d like help finding a home, please text, call or email me today.
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"May 16, 2015
We just got back from a grueling house-hunting trip to Austin... I am happy to report, thanks to Michelle Burns, Realtor, Best Agents in Texas, that we are now, officially, doing our part to keep Austin weird! The homeowner in Round Rock accepted our offer - and our 4 screwy pets - so it is off to the Capital of TX next week! Now you all have someone to visit when you come through the only city in America where Willie Nelson could conceivably run things one day... Gotta love it!"