NAR and realtor.com awarded $5K each to three winners of its initial competition that honors agents’ above-and-beyond efforts to further fair housing goals.
WASHINGTON –The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and realtor.com honored three winners of the Fair Housing Champion Awards during NAR’s Fair Housing Month event, “At What Price? Overcoming Barriers to Homeownership.”
The award recognizes Realtors for going above and beyond to promote fair housing and increase homeownership in underserved communities. Sponsored by realtor.com, the award program provides a $5,000 prize that winners can dedicate to the housing-related nonprofit organization of their choice.
“Affordability and fair housing are the biggest challenges facing the real estate industry today, and I am so proud of all the work our winners have put in to increase access to homeownership,” says NAR President Kenny Parcell. “They have set an example of leadership and I hope their work will motivate others to take action.”
2023 Fair Housing Champion Awards
- Abra Barnes: The broker-owner of Barnes & Associates, Realtors in Birmingham, Alabama, Barnes’ brokerage is a full-service firm assisting with residential sales, commercial sales and leasing, investor coaching, new construction marketing and acquisitions.
It’s also passionate about working in low- to moderate-income areas in Birmingham, empowering clients with the knowledge they need to purchase real estate and build generational wealth.
Although Barnes’ 41 agents focus on residential real estate, Barnes primary focus is commercial real estate. She works with affordable housing developers, nonprofits and fledgling business owners seeking their first brick-and-mortar space. Barnes helped raise awareness of the lingering effects of past discrimination as executive producer of “Lenders, Landlords, and the Law: A Fair Housing Reflection on Diversity and Inclusion.”
- Sofia Crisp: The executive director at Housing Consultants Group in Greensboro and High Point, North Carolina, Crisp – a 30-year veteran in the business and 2023 president of the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association – leverages her industry knowledge and community connections to build bridges to homeownership. She operates HCG as a nonprofit brokerage to help clients get into new homes at an affordable cost. To accomplish that, she works with the city of Greensboro, nonprofit organizations, lenders and a nonprofit builder.
- Frank J. Williams: The managing director of F.J. Williams Realty in Chicago, Illinois, Williams has been a fierce advocate for fair housing legislation on the state and local level, where he believes fair housing isn’t just about integrating neighborhoods – it’s also about integrating the industry.
He was president of the Southside Chicago chapter of the NAACP from 1979 to 1985, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) in 1989, CAR Realtor of the Year in 1992, and an inductee into the CAR Hall of Fame in 2017. Williams opened his real estate brokerage on the southwest side of Chicago in January 1971 where he continues his crusade as a broker, educator and leader today.
“Discrimination and a lack of housing affordability disproportionately impact marginalized communities, and that makes it harder for many individuals to gain access to homeownership and start building generational wealth,” says Realtor.com Chief Marketing Officer Mickey Neuberger. “Realtor.com applauds these Fair Housing Champions for their progress towards ensuring greater fair housing access for everyone and embodying the core values of our “To Each Their Home” tagline.”
© 2023 Florida Realtors®