LIEB BLOG

How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Showing posts with label anti-discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anti-discrimination. Show all posts

Monday, February 08, 2021

Implicit Bias Discrimination Trainings in the Face of EO 13950 Restriction

Anti-discrimination trainings start with learning that we all have implicit biases. However, President Trump had blocked training this topic by Executive Order in many different situations. Well, the federal courts took none of that and have permitted implicit bias trainings again. Andrew Lieb provides an update in the Suffolk Lawyer, Law Journal.

Read the full published article HERE.



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

NYS Senate Report on Fair Housing - Changes Coming to RE Brokerage - Get Ready NOW

A 97 page report was just issued by the NYS Senate on persistent racial and ethnicity-related housing discrimination and this report is going to change the real estate brokerage industry in NYS forever. 


Are you ready? 


According to the report, housing discrimination has changed over the last hundred years from being overt to subvert. However, housing discrimination clearly still exists and something has to be done about it now. 


Would it surprise you to learn that in 2019 there were 28,880 reported complaints of housing discrimination in the USA? Again, twenty-eight thousand complaints!!!


Did you know that the precursor to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) required its members to discriminate as follows:

A Realtor should never be instrumental in introducing into a neighborhood a character of property or occupancy, members of any race or nationality or individuals whose presence will clearly be detrimental to property values in that neighborhood. 

While this overt discrimination is less prevalent today, the report explains that: 

Today, bad actors often use subtler forms of discrimination; they direct homebuyers of different apparent backgrounds toward different communities, impose more stringent financial requirements on people of color, and provide unequal services to clients based upon their race or ethnicity.

[S]ome real estate agents utilize subtle ways to discriminate, like racially coded guidance and disparate treatment in services offered.


In acknowledging that real estate brokers and agents are the gatekeepers for neighborhoods, the report makes the following categories of recommendations:

  1. Develop a NYS Fair Housing Strategy
  2. More Proactive Enforcement of Fair Housing Laws (i.e., testing, more funding, & data collection)
  3. Licensing & Renewal Training Requirements (i.e., more training from better instructors for licensing & continuing education with a focus on implicit bias trainings)
  4. Increased Penalties & Broader Accountability (i.e., $2K fines increased from $1K & managers responsible like brokers with increased experience requirements to qualify)
  5. Standardized Broker Policies with Public (i.e., prospect identification, exclusive broker agreement requirements, & pre-approval for mortgages)
  6. Internal Brokerage Policies (i.e., brokerages need updated policy manuals with fair housing statements & explanations of the consequences for violations)
  7. State & Local Governments to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (i.e., enforcement is everyone's responsibility) 
  8. Brokers Must Open Offices in Communities of Color (i.e., 12 firms control 50% of listings, but only about 20% to 33% of the listings in minority communities)
  9. More Diverse Brokerage Workforce (i.e., NAR's members are 80% white; need Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives to attract talent to the industry) 
The report also suggests, that brokers fund these recommendations by charging between $10 & $30 for license renewal to the 130,578 real estate brokerage licensees in NYS.

Are you ready yet? 

There are eleven new pieces of legislation supported in this report and because our state has a one-party controlled government, they are likely going to pass quickly.

Brokers, Salespersons, and other industry participants, like landlords, property managers, and attorneys need to get ahead of this now and make proactive changes to their practices today. The alternative is defending the next wave of enforcement initiatives. 

In reminding everyone of this salient fact, the report quoted Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in saying:

There is very little truth in the old refrain that one cannot legislate equality. Laws not only provide concrete benefits, they can even change the hearts of men some men, anyhow for good or evil.

It's time to change from being part of the problem to being part of the solution. Are you ready?





Wednesday, December 23, 2020

NYS Proposes Regulations that Require Appraisers to Learn Fair Housing / Anti-Discrimination

On 12/23/2020, the NYS Department of State proposed mandating fair housing education as a condition of license renewal for appraisers and assistant appraisers.  


The proposed regulations would be at 19 NYCRR 1107.2(b), 19 NYCRR 1107.33(a), (b), and (c), and 19 NYCRR 1107.34. 


In substance, the regulations would require that every licensed or certified appraiser complete an approved course of study in Fair Housing and Fair Lending every two years with the following course topics: 

a) 7 Hour Introduction to Fair Housing and Fair Lending Instruction

b) 4 Hour Update on Fair Housing and Fair Lending Instruction


Now, we are in the public comment period until 02/21/2021. To make your comments, email the regulator at david.mossberg@dos.ny.gov


While we are very encouraged by increased fair housing and anti-discrimination trainings being required in NYS, we are concerned with how specific the subtopics of education are and how they offer no explanation as to what exactly the government is looking for within each subtopic. We are also concerned about how this requirement will impact federal government contractor appraisers who must follow Executive Order 13950 on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping and are therefore restricted on engaging in trainings on unconscious bias or implicit bias to the extent that "it teaches or implies that an individual, by virtue of his or her race, sex, and/or national origin, is racist, sexist, oppressive, or biased, whether consciously or unconsciously," per the US Department of Labor. We hope that these issues will be addressed before this regulation is finalized. 


To the specific subtopic requirements, under topic a), the subtopics are as follows:

(1) Fair housing, fair lending requirements, and the history of lending 2 hours

(a) What is fair housing?

(b) What is fair lending?

(c) Roadblocks to fair housing/lending

(d) Federal laws Civil Rights Act of 1866

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Fair Housing Act of 1968

Supreme Court

The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974

The Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988

Other legislation

- Community Reinvestment Act

- Equal Credit Opportunity Act

- Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act American Disabilities Act

(ADA)

(e) New York State Law - Executive Law includes the Civil Rights

Law of the State (NY Human Rights Law - Article 15)

- Additional protected classes; age and marital status

- Includes residential property, land commercial property and credit

transactions

(f) Local Regulations

(g) Exemptions and Exceptions

- Senior Citizen Housing

- Drug users and alcohol abusers

- Two family exemption

(h) USPAP/FIRREA

(i) Enforcement and Duties

-U.S. Department of Justice

-Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

-New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing

-New York State Division of Human Rights

-Administrative Law Judges

-Federal and State Courts

-Responsibilities of individual appraisers

(j) Penalties New York State Federal Government

(2) Development of appraisal (Standard 1 USPAP) 1.5 hours

(a) Bias and discrimination in the analysis in development

(b) Documentation of sources

(c) Secondary market guidelines Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD,

VA

(3) Reporting of appraisal results (Standard 2 USAP) 1.5 hour

(a) Bias and discrimination in the report

(b) Documentation of sources

(c) Secondary market guidelines Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD,

VA

(4) Case studies 2 hours

(a) Neighborhood issues

(b) Improvement issues

(c) External obsolescence

(d) Conscious and Unconscious bias


Under topic b), the subtopics are as follows:

(1) Fair housing, fair lending requirements, and the history of lending 1 hour

(a) What is fair housing?

(b) What is fair lending?

(c) Roadblocks to fair housing/lending

(d) Federal laws Civil Rights Act of 1866

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Fair Housing Act of 1968

Supreme Court

The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974

The Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988

Other legislation

- Community Reinvestment Act

- Equal Credit Opportunity Act

- Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act American Disabilities Act

(ADA)

(e) New York State Law - Executive Law includes the Civil Rights

Law of the State (NY Human Rights Law - Article 15)

- Additional protected classes; age and marital status

- Includes residential property, land commercial property and credit

transactions

(f) Local Regulations

(g) Exemptions and Exceptions

Senior Citizen Housing

Drug users and alcohol abusers

Two family exemption

(h) USPAP/FIRREA

(i) Enforcement and Duties

-U.S. Department of Justice

-Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

-New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing

-New York State Division of Human Rights

-Administrative Law Judges

-Federal and State Courts

-Responsibilities of individual appraisers

(j) Penalties New York State Federal Government

(2) Development of appraisal (Standard 1 USPAP) 1 hour

(a) Bias and discrimination in the analysis

(b) Documentation of sources

(c) Secondary market guidelines Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD,

VA

(3) Reporting of appraisal results (Standard 2 USAP) 1 hour

(a) Bias and discrimination in the report

(b) Documentation of sources

(c) Secondary market guidelines Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD,

VA

(4) Case studies 1 hour

(a) Neighborhood issues

(b) Improvement issues

(c) External obsolescence

(d) Conscious and Unconscious bias


 




Friday, December 11, 2020

NYS Human Rights Event on Discrimination & COVID-19

On Tuesday December 15, 2020 at 12:30PM, the NYS Division of Human Rights is hosting a virtual event about discrimination and COVID-19. 


The event will discuss "unjust targeting and attacks against Asian Americans, systemic health care disparities in Black and Brown communities, and the challenges, particularly in workplaces, for people with disabilities." 


As discrimination litigators and trainers we will be attending, will you?