In late July, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) announced the filing of a discrimination complaint against a Century 21 franchise in the Detroit region. In April, NFHA filed an administrative complaint against Coldwell Banker, Joe T. Lane Realty, located in the Atlanta metropolitan area. NFHA will file ten other complaints in coming months including a third one in August.
As in the Atlanta case, the NFHA argues that Detroit area Century 21 real estate office had agents who consistently and repeatedly showed potential White homebuyers homes in White communities and showed potential African American homebuyers homes in majority African American communities. In addition to illegal racial steering in violation of the Fair Housing Act, agents made negative comments to White homebuyers about African Americans and Detroit communities.
“The practice of steering perpetuates racial, ethnic and economic segregation throughout America,” said Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO of NFHA. “Real estate agents are better educated about fair housing than anyone in the housing industry, yet these agents flagrantly violated the law.”
Ivan Brown of Ivan Brown Realty agrees that agents are generally very knowledgeable of fair housing laws. He added, “We have to take a three-hour course in fair housing every two years before the government will renew our licenses.”
Photo: Ivan Brown of Ivan Brown Realty.