As more than 31 million small businesses across the country were recognized during National Small Business Week, it’s a good time to look at how small, local operations drive so much of the economy and search for ways to continue to level the playing field for them and for consumers. When it comes to “buying local,” small businesses could not be more front and center than when it comes to purchasing a home. In fact, of the 1.5 million REALTORS® across the country, more than 1.3 million are small businesses like me who are focused on our local communities.
Housing discrimination and racial bias have taken many forms over the years, from the explicit government-sponsored policy of redlining (refusing to insure mortgages in predominately Black neighborhoods) to the continued practices of steering (real estate agents pushing Black homebuyers away from white neighborhoods).
Strong multifamily activity pushed overall housing starts up in August but single-family starts have dipped in response to continued supply chain and labor challenges. Total starts increased 3.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.62 million units, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.