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April Marks Fair Housing Month

Published Monday, April 25, 2022
by Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS®

April marks Fair Housing Month, when Realtors, real estate professionals who  are members of the national, state and local association of Realtors and subscribe to a strict code of ethics, recommit themselves to continuing fair and equitable treatment for everyone in  search of a home.

“Realtors live by the code of ethics, which means we work hard to ensure that the real  estate market is fair for everyone,” said Reading-Berks Association of Realtors President Jason Burkholder. “It’s more than just words, we also step up, we speak up, and not only will we never tolerate discrimination, we will actively seek to fight against it in all forms.”

Enacted in April 1968, the federal Fair Housing Act protects the rights of those searching to rent  or buy a home by banning discrimination in housing-related transactions based on seven protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act protects against housing discrimination in  the commonwealth and includes two additional protected classes: age (over 40) and users, handlers or trainers of assistance animals for persons with disabilities.

“While we know there has been a lot of progress made in the last 54 years, there is still much  work to be done,” Burkholder said. “Laws matter, but people matter more, and as Realtors,  we know that fairness is worth fighting for.”

As Realtors, committed to following the code of ethics and ensuring fair housing for every  person, Reading-Berks Association of Realtors members are committed to strengthening our diverse communities, eliminating discrimination, and promoting access to housing for all.

“As chairperson for the Diversity and Development  Committee, I enjoy learning about the different cultures, and I would hope that we all take a  few minutes to learn and appreciate the diversity in our community,” said Sharon Kehres, chairwoman of R-BAR’s Diversity and Development Committee and broker with Daryl Tillman Realty Group.

If consumers believe they have experienced a fair housing issue, they should contact the  Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission at phrc.pa.gov.