On Tuesday, June 26, Fannie Mae hosted a roundtable at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., fostering a discussion of initiatives and legislation promoting diversity and equality within the housing industry for LGBT individuals.
The event was moderated by Bill Fahey, VP, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Fannie Mae, who oversaw a wide-ranging roundtable discussion that included insights from Charmaine Brown, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Fannie Mae; Derek Templeton, Executive Director of the American Mortgage Diversity Council; and Peter Nguyen, Director of the D.C. chapter of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP). (Brown also serves as Vice Chair of the AMDC, partnering with Chair Kathy Cummings of Bank of America.)
"The AMDC appreciates the opportunity to be involved in today's event," Templeton said. "We look forward to continuing to work with Fannie Mae and NAGLREP to ensure that all Americans have equal access to homeownership, regardless of race, religion, or orientation."
Templeton discussed the mission and purpose of the AMDC, which works to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the mortgage industry. In order to further those goals, the AMDC strives to develop and provide tools and strategies to create an understanding and appreciation of individual differences in thought, experience, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, style, sexual orientation and gender identity and to move business practices forward to embrace diversity and inclusion as essential to innovation and optimal business results.
Templeton also provided an update on the AMDC’s series of LGBT Town Hall events. The AMDC has so far hosted four of these events—in Dallas, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles—which are designed to bring together servicers and local LGBT community groups for a day of discussion regarding issues affecting the LGBT community, from perspectives of both homeownership and workplace inclusion. The AMDC Town Halls will culminate in the creation of a white paper report that will be circulated to thought leaders across the country, including mortgage industry leaders, housing policy experts, and participating LGBT organizations.
NAGLREP’s Peter Nguyen presented an update on various diversity initiatives, including a legislative update on H.R. 1447, the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017. This bill would amend the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to add sexual orientation and gender identity as classes protected against discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing.
The roundtable discussion also touched on other relevant topics such as the state of the housing market when it comes to fair housing and equal-opportunity employment for LGBT individuals, the challenges of LGBT homelessness, and how Fannie Mae can work with groups like the AMDC and NAGLREP to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion for the LGBT community.
To view the AMDC's webinars, including their most recent “Understanding the Effects of Implicit Bias” presentation, hosted by AMDC Vice Chair Charmaine Brown, click here.