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LIBOR to examine Realtors included in Newsday housing investigation

The Long Island Board of Realtors office in

The Long Island Board of Realtors office in West Babylon.   Credit: Newsday/Yeong-Ung Yang

The Long Island Board of Realtors said Thursday it is investigating whether its member agents named in Newsday’s "Long Island Divided" investigation have violated the National Association of Realtors' code of ethics.

The code includes a pledge that Realtors “shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

The NAR is an industry trade group whose 1.3 million members may use the term Realtor, indicating they belong to the group and subscribe to its code of ethics.

At a recent meeting of LIBOR's board of directors, the board directed its grievance committee to examine the evidence of possible fair housing law violations documented by Newsday, the group said.

Newsday published hidden-camera video recordings of meetings between agents and paired testers in cases where two nationally known fair housing experts found evidence of disparate treatment or other possible violations of fair housing laws.  

LIBOR said in a statement that its leaders “fully support and cooperate with state and local programs that use qualified and trained field testers to ensure all real estate agents are following the law when it comes to fair housing practices.”

LIBOR also said it is auditing its fair housing training programs, and it is holding discussions with fair housing groups.

As part of its investigation, Newsday reporters attended six LIBOR fair housing classes and asked fair housing training experts to review notes and transcripts of them. Experts said in five of the six classes, the instruction was incomplete, inaccurate and confusing.  

The group said it "will continue to reinforce that ensuring fair access to housing choice isn't just the law, it's the right thing to do."

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