Over the past few years, the inequities in Ontario’s real estate and housing sectors have been exacerbated and emphasized by the destabilizing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In tandem, an ongoing series of shocking and highly publicized acts of violence against racialized people, has shone a spotlight on a long history of racism and discrimination, where BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ individual experience higher barriers to housing attainment due to a system fraught with social injustice.
Deliberate and sustained actions are required to address these complex issues, and as a first step, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) established the Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). The overarching goal of the PAG is to identify where systemic racism occurs in the real estate and housing sectors and seek to change policy, perceptions, and attitudes through education, advocacy, and research.
This document is the PAG’s report to the OREA Board of Directors with recommendations on actions that the Association can take towards eliminating racism, embracing diversity, and advancing equality and inclusion.
To inform its recommendations the PAG oversaw the following research streams:
Market Research: Quantitative and qualitative surveys led by leading consumer research firm, Ipsos, to identify where systemic racism occurs, and to build an understanding of the journey and experiences of historically vulnerable populations as they navigate through the real estate and housing sectors in Ontario.
Jurisdictional Scan: A robust analysis of promising and established leading practices in addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the real estate and housing sectors in Ontario, Canada, and abroad.
Stakeholder Engagement: Engagement with organizations that represent REALTORS® and consumers from BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities to collect insights into how they are affected by systemic discrimination and racism in Ontario’s real estate and housing sectors.
Through this work, the PAG identified three areas for action, each representing key audiences and structures that OREA can influence to achieve its equity, diversity and inclusion objectives.
→ Public Policy: Influencing public policies and decision-makers to address systemic racism and discrimination.
→ Real Estate Industry: Engaging key organizations in the real estate sector, REALTORS®, and consumers to facilitate a racism and discrimination free real estate industry.
→ OREA Governance & Operations: Imbuing equity, diversity and inclusion into how OREA governs and operates and model the change that we want to see.
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