Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Iowa's History of Discrimination in Housing
For hundreds of years, minority groups have been marginalized in a variety of ways, but especially in terms of housing. Within Iowa alone, unfair lending practices, redlining, and neighborhood steering, left several groups at a significant disadvantage due to discrimination. Specifically discrimination on the basis of race has been at the forefront of Iowa housing history. As a result, minority communities are still feeling the effects of these practices decades later.
Housing Discrimination Today
Extensive research in recent years has displayed the disparities that still exist in homeownership across the country. Lack of access to affordable housing, biased and unfair lending, and minimal home buying education have served to exacerbate these gaps, specifically in the homeownership rate between Caucasian and Black homeowners in the state. With one of the largest gaps in the country in homeownership across race, Iowa still has a long way to go in providing equitable and fair access to the American Dream of owning a home. This was just one of the many reasons the Iowa Association of Realtors created the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
Check out our Iowa Housing Study
Iowa Association of REALTORS DEI Committee
In the fall of 2020, following the many tumultuous events of the prior summer, members of the Iowa Association of Realtors began a two day brainstorming and strategy session to create a DEI plan for the future of the association. From this planning session, several key themes emerged which set the path forward for the committee. These themes translated to the subcommittees currently in place, Fair Financing and Partners/Bridging the Homeownership Gap, IAR Programs and Support, Education, and Industry Diversity. These subcommittees then set both short term and long term goals and went forward with a strong purpose.
View the IAR DEI Strategic Plan
Though the IAR Diversity Committee has only been in place for two years, it is one of the first statewide DEI Committees for REALTOR Associations across the country. The Committee is helping to set a model, other associations all around the U.S. are looking to as they implement their own DEI programs. Hosting many events spanning from the topics of redlining to LGBTQ+ trainings, first time home buying, and a statewide broker outreach tour, the IAR Diversity Committee is making a strong push across the state for DEI efforts, and are seeing several local boards create their own DEI committees and task forces.
Diversity is not just one characteristic or category, it encompasses race, ethnicity, gender, religion, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, and so much more. This committee serves to help our members, clients, and the public ensure equitable access to homeownership and resources while celebrating the diversity that exists in Iowa communities. Interested in joining our efforts? Fill out the form below:
Get Involved with DEI