Teton REALTORS® Help Pass Fair Housing Law

By HOM Editor

For years, Wyoming REALTORS® have recognized the need for a state fair housing law that would prohibit discrimination against anyone seeking to buy, rent or obtain a loan for a home, while providing a local forum for the resolution of disputes where discrimination is alleged.

Without a state law, housing discrimination complaints in Wyoming had to be resolved at the federal level by regional Housing and Urban Development offices. The process was slower and less efficient than under state fair housing laws, which handle complaints closer to where they occur. This was particularly true in Wyoming, where the HUD regional office was located out of the state.

Despite the strong reasons for implementing a state fair housing law, many commentators believed it was unlikely Wyoming would join the vast majority of states in adopting one. Those commentators were proven wrong this year thanks to the work of many individual REALTORS® and associations across the state, including the Teton Board of REALTORS®.

During the 2015 legislative session, the Teton Board of REALTORS® joined with other groups to support a Senate bill, SF 132, that proposed creating a Wyoming fair housing act. The Teton Board called on its members to reach out to state legislators and community members. REALTORS® explained the importance of the bill to Wyoming residents, and also explained that the bill would not increase the size of Wyoming’s government — one of the most common concerns about the bill.

The efforts were a success. The bill passed and was subsequently signed into law by the governor. This huge victory is just another example of what happens when REALTORS® join together to fight for the best interests of consumers.


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