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What is the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB)?

In a world where housing is not just about four walls and a roof but a gateway to financial security and wealth, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) stands as a shining beacon of equality and justice. Founded in 1947, NAREB has been at the forefront of promoting democracy in housing and advocating for public policies that ensure the security and sustainability of homeownership, especially for minority communities. In this article, we delve into the history, mission, and impact of NAREB in its unrelenting pursuit of fair housing for all.

National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB)

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NAREB: Empowering Black Professionals in Real Estate

NAREB is not just an organization; it's a powerful network of black professionals in the real estate industry. Their primary goal is to champion the cause of democracy in housing and create public policies that offer security and enhance sustainable homeownership. This mission is not just a statement; it's a commitment to securing the American dream of owning a home for everyone, regardless of their racial or ethnic background.

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At the heart of NAREB's mission is the empowerment of its members. These members, known as Realtists, are spread across different chapters in the United States. They are not just real estate brokers; they also include experts from various industries such as appraisers and mortgage brokers. This diversity within NAREB ensures a holistic approach to the challenges and opportunities in the real estate market.

NAREB: A Major Network of Black Real Estate Experts

Lydia Pope, the President of NAREB, sums up the organization's objective eloquently: to improve the business and professional standing of NAREB Realtists by solidifying the consumer situation of minority, Black, and new target industry sectors served by Realtors. This commitment extends beyond just business; it's about transforming lives and communities.

Driving Positive Change

NAREB also takes on the responsibility of promoting the real estate market using its political, economic, social, and legal influence to remedy disparities and biased property and housing ownership practices. It's about bringing about positive change in the real estate landscape of the United States.

A Historical Journey

The roots of NAREB trace back to 1947 in Tampa, Florida. Initially, it was a civil rights advocacy and opportunity firm for African American real estate experts, consumers, and communities. Over the years, NAREB has played a pivotal role in the implementation of fair housing policies and equal rights legislation across the country. Notably, it contributed to the enactment of the first local fair housing policy in New York in 1962 and the creation of fair housing policies in California in 1963.

Inclusivity in Action

NAREB continues to evolve, now admitting anyone who champions democracy in housing. This inclusivity is a testament to their commitment to a fair and just housing market for all.

What Are NAREB Members Called?

NAREB members are affectionately referred to as Realtists. Just as Realtor is a trademarked name for professional members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the term Realtist carries immense significance within NAREB. It symbolizes belonging and being part of a greater mission.

Realtist vs. Realtor

While some NAREB members may also be Realtors, there's a key distinction. Realtists can encompass a broader spectrum of roles within the real estate market, including loan officers, mortgage lenders, and appraisers. This diversity within NAREB ensures a comprehensive approach to addressing the unique challenges faced by minority communities in homeownership.

A Glimpse into Housing Discrimination

The history of housing in the United States is marked by inequalities. While homeownership has long been considered a path to wealth and financial security, many of the nation's laws favored white households. Black households, on the other hand, faced discriminatory practices. For instance, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provided white families with private loans for low-cost home purchases, leaving black households with limited access to such opportunities.

A Legacy of Discrimination

Discrimination was deeply embedded in housing practices. Racially prejudiced agreements prevented specific homes from being sold to black households. Even African American veterans who served in World War II were denied access to GI Bill benefits, which offered government-backed home loans with no down payment. Private lenders with racial bias played a significant role in creating this disparity.

Zoning Policies and Discrimination

In the 1960s, community zoning policies that demanded larger lot sizes for homes led to increased home prices, further entrenching housing discrimination and limiting housing options for black households. The consequences of these discriminatory practices are still felt today.

The Racial Wealth Gap

Lydia Pope emphasizes that the current racial wealth gap is intricately tied to disparities in homeownership and home equity. Closing this gap is essential for building family wealth and achieving true equality.


NAREB's journey from its humble beginnings to its present-day mission of promoting democracy in housing and fighting housing discrimination is a testament to the organization's commitment to justice and equality. Through its advocacy and initiatives, NAREB continues to work towards a future where homeownership is a reality for all, regardless of race or background.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the primary mission of NAREB?

NAREB's primary mission is to promote democracy in housing and advocate for public policies that ensure the security and sustainability of homeownership, especially for minority communities.

  • What are NAREB members called?

NAREB members are called Realtists, a term that signifies belonging and being part of a greater mission within the organization.

  • How does a Realtist differ from a Realtor?

While some NAREB members may also be Realtors, Realtists can encompass a broader spectrum of roles within the real estate market, including loan officers, mortgage lenders, and appraisers.

  • What is the history of housing discrimination in the United States?

Housing discrimination in the United States has a long history, with laws and practices that favored white households while limiting opportunities for minority communities, particularly Black households.

  • Why is closing the racial wealth gap essential?

Closing the racial wealth gap is crucial because it is closely tied to disparities in homeownership and home equity, making it vital for building family wealth and achieving true equality.


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