Le Lézard
Classified in: Business
Subjects: LAW, BLK, TRD, DEI

California REALTORS®' fair housing and equity legislation to address housing barriers facing communities of color signed into law

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier this year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) put forward a Fair Housing and Equity Legislative Package to address ongoing fair housing and equity issues that persist in our state. Three C.A.R.-sponsored bills from that package and two other fair housing bills, which C.A.R. actively supported, were recently signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom

Historic discrimination, both legally sanctioned and illegal, has had profound effects on the ability of the communities of such discrimination to achieve homeownership, which remains one of the best ways for working- and middle-class persons to achieve financial and housing stability. The effects of such discrimination have resonated over time as gaps in income, intergenerational wealth and homeownership rates persist, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities.

"The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' Fair Housing and Equity Legislative Package is an important step in eliminating significant barriers that have historically kept many families from the economic and societal benefits that housing offers," said C.A.R. President Dave Walsh. "We would like to thank the bill authors and Gov. Gavin Newsom for their leadership in championing housing equity to ensure the American dream of homeownership is within reach for all Californians," continued Walsh.

C.A.R.'s Fair Housing and Equity Legislative Package/Sponsored Bills:

Prohibiting Discrimination Against Residents in Affordable Housing - AB 491 (Ward & Gonzalez)

This law will ensure that multifamily properties provide the occupants of affordable units the same access to common entrances, common areas, and amenities that are available to the occupants of market-rate units and do not isolate affordable units to a specific floor or area.

Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) - AB 633 (Calderon)

This law adds California to the list of states that utilize the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA), an act promoted by the Uniform Law Commission. Under current law, if several heirs jointly inherit a property and there is no will, trust or other method of conveying the property at the time of the owner's death, one heir can go to court to force the sale of the entire property, often at below-market rates. Furthermore, heirs who may be in an immediate need of money have been taken advantage of by predatory persons who buy small shares and then force these below-market sales at which they purchase the property. These forced partition sales have had an outsized negative impact on those in financially disadvantaged groups, more of whom tend not to have wills or trusts.

Implicit Bias Training for Real Estate Professionals - SB 263 (S. Rubio)

This sponsored bill creates new educational requirements for REALTORS® and real estate licensees generally to ensure every community has access to homeownership opportunities, particularly those who have been excluded in the past. This law will require a licensee's continuing education requirement to include a two-hour course on implicit bias training. It also requires the current fair housing training to include participation in interactive training where roleplay scenarios are used to illustrate live-experiences from the perspective of both a consumer and a licensee.

Supported Bills:

Racially Restrictive Covenants - AB 1466 (McCarty)

This law requires land title insurers to identify potentially racist language from housing documents when property changes hands and record a modification to redact that language and expand who can record modifications to include land title insurance companies, escrow companies, real estate brokers and real estate agents.

Appraiser Discrimination - AB 948 (Holden)

This law requires a purchase agreement in a real estate transaction to inform a seller and buyer of the opportunity to report, through the Department of Consumer Affairs' internet website or telephone number, any suspicion of a discriminatory appraisal by the holder of a real estate appraiser license. Furthermore, it would require such a notice to be provided by a lender when a buyer is applying for a loan. Finally, the bill will make changes to the fair housing law to apply the law to appraisal discrimination and refinancing transactions.

Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 200,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.


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