Testing the Divide

This class was originally hosted by the Iowa City Area Association of REALTORS on 4/29.

This class is available to ICAAR members for educational purposes only. CE Credit is not available for recorded classes.

“Join us for a special presentation with Pulitzer Prize winner and No. 1 bestselling author Bill Dedman, who was a lead reporter on Newsday’s three-year investigation Long Island Divided and its documentary film Testing the Divide, which are raising awareness of illegal steering by real estate agents.

We will cover:
· How were the tests conducted?
· What were the major findings?
· What kind of steering is still happening?
· What happened to the agents caught in the investigation?
· What can agents say about schools?
· What steps can brokers make to ensure fair treatment?
· What new training and regulations are coming?
· How to ensure fair treatment?

Newsday sent out testers to visit real estate agents, capturing video and audio with their hidden cameras. White testers and non-white testers gave the same criteria for housing and the same financial and family circumstances and requests—but they were steered to separate neighborhoods according to their race. Some agents required mortgage pre approval from Black customers but not whites. Fully 49% of African American testers, 39% of Hispanic testers and 19% of Asian testers received what housing experts deemed unequal treatment by real estate agents. Many agents steered homebuyers of any race away from neighborhoods with higher minority populations.

In response to Newsday’s explosive investigation, the National Association of Realtors has added anti-bias training, is looking at state laws, and is developing a self-testing program for brokerages to monitor agents for fair-housing compliance.