Minneapolis realtors pledge to work to bridge racial divide in homeownership

Minnesota’s largest organization of realtors promises to do better when it comes to closing the racial divide in homeownership. On Wednesday, they introduced several new policy changes to ensure equal access to housing for all.

“At the end of the day, I’m accumulating equity and I can do whatever I want with this house down the line,” owner Maurice Hudson said.

Maurice Hudson ii is a proud owner at the age of 24. He just bought his first home, a two-bedroom condo in Saint Louis Park, earlier this year.

“Owning these types of properties and having the ability to pass them on to, you know, your generations and create that wealth is — it’s very important,” Hudson said.

Hudson reports not having encountered any significant obstacles during the purchase process, but one aspect of it definitely stood out. “With some projections that I did,” Hudson said. “My real estate agent, she’s black too. So, you know, with people who ended up showing places and stuff, we kind of get a weird vibe.”

“It’s the culmination of realtors saying we need to do something,” said Carrie Chang, CEO of Minneapolis Area Realtors. “We understand our history and now we want to be part of making things better.”

On Wednesday, Minneapolis-area realtors, the largest such organization in the state, apologized for discriminatory intergenerational practices that denied equal access to housing opportunities. Minnesota with one of the most abysmal racial disparity rates in the country, about three out of four white residents own their homes. The number of black residents is only one in four.

The association’s leadership promises, among other corrective policy changes, to recruit more minority agents into the profession and focus on raising awareness in the industry about racism in real estate.

“Even though I have been confirmed to have been denied access to a screening, this screening when they see me arriving with my clients, I mean, it’s devastating to have to turn to my clients and say, I’m sorry you weren’t welcome here,” said MAR Board Director Jackie Berry.

It’s an issue that Hudson is passionate about: he wants to see more people like him get additional homeownership opportunities.

“I just want to see my siblings develop, you know, and, you know, be able to stand up for me as a great example like, hey, I did it,” Hudson said. “You can do it too. I really hope to close that gap.”

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