The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance organization announced that it is partnering with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and has landed its first corporate sponsor, Engel & Vӧlkers.
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, which officially launched on Oct. 1, is an inclusive member-based organization dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of its members while providing consumers with the proper resources to assist in buying and selling their home.
As a result of conflict with leadership of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance split off and has begun accepting members from across the country.
NFHA said it will use the partnership to cross-promote Fair Housing initiatives, educate the public about Fair Housing rights, provide Fair Housing training to LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance members and collaborate to showcase instances of housing discrimination, according to a release.
NFHA will also have a seat on the LBGTQ+ Real Estate Alliance’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, the LGBTQ+ Mortgage Advisory Council and the Sponsor Advisory Board.
Lisa Rice, president and CEO of NFHA, said that this partnership will advance fair housing in a time when civil rights are under attack and key tools for strengthening equity are being systematically eviscerated.
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently passed its harmful Disparate Impact rule, which will gut civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people and members of other vulnerable communities, making it exceedingly harder to challenge systemic discrimination by housing providers,” Rice said. “We must fight back, and our new partnership with the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance will give us another avenue through which to do just that.”
As the first corporate partner for the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, Engel & Vӧlkers Americas President and CEO Anthony Hitt will serve on the Alliance’s Sponsor Advisory Board, with a focus on long-term strategy, public policy and industry trends. In addition, Guy Parker, a Realtor at Engel & Vӧlkers Atlanta, has been appointed as the International Ambassadors chair for the Alliance.
“[Hitt] has built an incredible culture of diversity and inclusion at Engel & Vӧlkers and he is a leader in the LGBTQ+ real estate community,” said Ryan Weyandt, the recently named CEO of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, in a statement. “This is the first of what we hope will be many more announcements in the near future. We look forward to Anthony’s leadership and welcoming many of the brand’s brokers, managers and agents into the Alliance.”
“It’s been an honor working with Ryan as he and his team have created an organization doing the right things for the right reasons and developing strategic opportunities for companies to come together in the name of advocacy and equality,” Hitt said. “Engel & Vӧlkers consists of sophisticated real estate professionals who care about their clients, communities and colleagues, and we are so proud of our inclusive culture that continues to grow because of organizations such as the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.”