Failing at fair housing | Guest Perspectives







Justin Alley

Justin Alley


In recent months, newspaper and television reports have repeatedly carried messages of guilty admission from the California Association of Realtors. In an effort to come clean about a dark and nefarious history, CAR has been apologizing for the Realtors’ role in promoting policies of discrimination and racial exclusion.

The full extent to which Realtors were the primary bad actors in this history is little known. To elevate awareness of this, Gene Slater, an urban planner who has served as senior advisor for federal, state and local agencies for more than 40 years, released a book in 2021 entitled “Freedom to Discriminate.” This impressive work of research meticulously documents the history of the real estate industry’s involvement in racial exclusion, laying bare the fact that Realtors were not only promoters of exclusionary policies but, in many instances, were the very architects of them.