Minneapolis Realtors pledge to work to close the racial divide in homeownership

Minnesota's largest real estate agent organization is promising to do better when it comes to bridging the racial gap in homeownership. Wednesday, they laid out several new policy changes to ensure equal access to housing for all.

"At the end of the day, I'm building equity and I can do whatever I want to do with this home down the line," said homeowner Maurice Hudson.

Maurice Hudson ii is a proud homeowner at the age of 24. He just bought his first place, a two-bedroom condo in Saint Louis Park, earlier this year.

"Owning these types of properties and being able to have the option to pass it down to, you know, your generations and build that wealth is -- it's very important," said Hudson.

Hudson reports not running into any significant hurdles during the purchasing process, but one aspect of it definitely stood out. "With certain showings that I did," said Hudson. "My Realtor, she's black as well. So I kind of, you know, with what people that ended up showing the places and stuff, we kind of feel that weirdish vibe."

"This is a culmination of Realtors saying we need to do something," said Minneapolis Area Realtors CEO Carrie Chang. "We understand our history and now we want to take a part in making things right."

On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Area Realtors, the state’s largest organization of its kind, apologized for discriminatory practices across generations that denied equal access to housing opportunities. Minnesota with one of the most abysmal racial disparity rates in the country, approximately three out of four white residents own their home. The number of Black residents is just one in four.

Association leadership is promising among other corrective policy changes to recruit more minority agents into the profession and focus on educating the industry on racism in real estate.

"Even though I've had confirmed access to a showing being denied, that showing when they see me and my clients arrive, I mean, that's devastating to have to turn to my clients and say, I'm sorry you guys were not welcome here," said MAR Board Director Jackie Berry.

This is an issue Hudson is absolutely passionate about: He wants to see more people who look like him get additional opportunities at homeownership.

"I just want to see my brothers and sisters be built up, you know, and, you know, me being able to advocate myself as a prime example like, hey, I did it," said Hudson. "You can do it as well. I really hope to bridge that gap."