Local movers and shakers interested in the real estate business met Thursday to emphasize their efforts to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to purchase property regardless of race, color, religion, lifestyle or other factors.
“We wanted to highlight with community groups to mitigate issues of fair housing,” said Justin Porembo, Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors director of government affairs. “One allegation [of noncompliance] is one too many.”
The forum was held in recognition of Fair Housing Month by LVAR, a not-for-profit trade association that provides professional development and training resources, market information, legislative advocacy, peer reviews and mediation to resolve disputes in the industry.
“We had a dialogue among agents on fair housing,” Porembo said of the forum, held at LVAR’s offices in Bethlehem. “We’re offering continuing education classes here at the association.”
Community stakeholders included representatives from Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, Northampton County, Lehigh County, Renew, the City of Allentown and LVEDC/Envision Lehigh Valley.
“Realtors are held to a strict code,” Porembo said. “We highlighted everything going on, established a diversity task force and [talked about] initiatives to mitigate fair housing.”
According to Porembo, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and City Center Investment Corp. President J.B. Riley are scheduled to speak at LVAR’s next general membership meeting 9 a.m., Thursday, May 23, in Iaccoca Hall at the Mountaintop Campus of Lehigh University.
“The mayor and J.B. Riley will discuss the arena and riverfront projects,” Porembo said, referencing two large Downtown Allentown commercial/retail construction sites.