The local association for real estate professionals across Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket has taken action to ensure consumers are better protected against housing discrimination.
The Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors® (CCIAOR) membership has voted to require continual training on fair housing to be a member. Members of CCIAOR have until Dec. 31, 2024 to complete the first round of fair housing training
“Consumers deserve to know their rights are protected. Now, when a member of the public works with a Realtor® who is a member of CCIAOR, they know their agent has been educated about all forms of housing discrimination and knows how to ensure fair treatment of everyone,” said Ryan Castle, chief executive officer of CCIAOR. “This is an important and necessary step to reaffirm and improve the industry as a whole,”
The training requirement consists of at least two hours of education to be completed every three years to retain membership in good standing with CCIAOR.
Real estate licensees who are not a Realtor® member of CCIAOR do not have to take the training.
CCIAOR in conjunction with the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® is pushing state lawmakers to add fair housing as a required course for renewal of either a Massachusetts real estate salesperson or broker’s license in the state. That bill is pending in the state Legislature.
The new membership requirement is one of the many actions CCIAOR has taken to make fair housing a priority, Castle noted. This dovetails with a recent initiative to expand education for fair housing across the state as CCIAOR recently wrote a course approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Brokers and Salespersons as a new continuing education course entitled, ‘Protecting the Protected Classes,’ which focuses on the protected classes and the nuanced ways in which actions may violate fair housing laws. This course is offered at no cost to CCIAOR members and is open to other members of other local REALTOR® associations to take for a fee.
Additional actions over the last two years include: increasing the amount of fair housing resources and education regarding bias in real estate and a series called “Connect with Respect” where members discuss combating discrimination and how to create a more diverse and inclusive industry. The association has also created a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to spearhead these efforts.