If your firm does business with HUD or participates in HUD or FHA programs,
federal law requires you to have an affirmative marketing plan for properties
involved. Because the VAMA provides a comprehensive affirmative marketing
program, firms that are signtory to the VAMA may reference their signatory
status in lieu of submitting these individual plans.
The VAMA Program - Five Principles
1. Become educated and aware of your rights and responsibilities
under the fair housing laws and the VAMA. A fair housing program begins
with and requires continued training and education for all involved with
the sale or rental of housing. NAR has agreed to develop training materials
and information to assist in the implementation of the VAMA. The Fair Housing
Handbook, Fair Housing in the 90s video training series and other publications
provide a basic understanding of fair housing. Your Board agrees to make
fair housing and VAMA materials available to members. These resources are
developed to help you learn and to help you provide training and education
to all associated with your firm.
2. Make your commitment to fair housing public. Let your customers
and clients know that your firm provides equal professional service without
discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, familial status, handicap,
or national origin. NAR and HUD have developed a fair housing poster for
your poster. Use of the Equal Housing Opportunity slogan or logo is one
way to clearly state that you will have no part in housing discrimination.
Your Board also will make public statements regarding the commitment of
REALTORS® to equal housing opportunities.
3. Using your fair housing training, develop a clear set of fair housing
procedures for your firm. These procedures need to address fair housing
marketing, advertising and offer management. These procedures encompass
all aspects of the VAMA and are discussed in greater detail in the Fair
Housing Handbook. Sample and suggested procedures are also available. Consistency
is a key component of fair housing procedures; that means consistency by
each associate and throughout the firm. Remember that the broker may be
liable for fair housing violations of associates and employees of the firm.
Feel free to tailor your procedures based on the needs and resources of
your firm, but the procedures must be consistent with samples provided
by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION in the Fair Housing Handbook or by your Board.
4. Assure that your firm offers equal employment opportunities.
Use the Equal Opportunity slogan when hiring and recruiting. The NAR Minority
Recruiting Guide provides insight and tips for equal opportunity recruitment.
Through the VAMA, your Board agrees to conduct outreach sessions and to
encourage full participation by persons of all racial and ethnic groups,
both sexes, with and without disabilities, and individuals otherwise protected
from discrimination by the Fair Housing Act.
5. Participate in community efforts to eliminate barriers to equal opportunity.
Fair Housing is a community-wide concern. Fair Housing issues affect REALTORS®,
residents, homeseekers, builders, lenders, local governments, buyers, and
sellers. Working with community groups to remove these barriers is one
of the roles of your Board. NAR encourages Boards to seek a cooperative
relationship with community fair housing and civil rights groups. You are
an integral part of that effort by your Board through your work with the
Equal Opportunity Committee and participation in Board fair Housing programs.
Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement
I, the undersigned member of the Houston Association of REALTORS®,
hereby subscribe to the Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement and agree
to make good-faith efforts to implement the fair housing principles outlined
therein. I subscribe to the Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement of
behalf of my firm.
I elect to become a signatory to the Voluntary Affirmative Marketing
Agreement in order that my status as signatory may be known to the United
States Department of Housing and Urban Development in lieu of submitting
an individual Affirmative Fair Housing Plan or certification.