Advocacy organization the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance announced Monday that it has struck up a new partnership with Ohio Realtors, a trade group that has more than 35,000 members in the midwestern state.
The partnership is built around a “memorandum of understanding” that Ohio Realtors signed with the Alliance. The goal of the memorandum is to help the two organizations “promote homeownership within the LGBTQ+ community,” according to a statement.
“The agreement calls for joint efforts to share with real estate professionals the challenges LGBTQ+ homebuyers face, including discrimination, on their journey to homeownership, while promoting an understanding of the cultural nuances involved in working closely with the diverse LGBTQ+ community,” the statement adds.
Ohio Realtors CEO Scott Williams also said in the statement that he was pleased to team up with the Alliance and strengthen “our profession’s ongoing commitment to helping make homeownership happen for all Ohioans.”
He added that “we are proud to stand as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Ohio Realtors — which formed in 1910 and counts itself as the largest organization of its kind in its state — is the second such trade group to team up with the Alliance, following the Missouri Association of Realtors last year.
The Alliance formed in June 2020. It was one of two advocacy groups that materialized in the wake of turmoil and leadership controversies at the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) — which had long been the most prominent LGBT-focused real estate organization in the U.S.
Alliance CEO Ryan Weyandt further noted in the statement that Ohio is one of 27 states that do not “protect the LGBTQ+ community from housing discrimination.” As a result, the statement explains, the new partnership with the Alliance will be important for raising awareness and helping make both sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes in the state.
Weyandt also said in the statement that Ohio Realtors have a long history of supporting the LGBT community, and as a result having the organization as a partner “means a lot to the Alliance and we hope to utilize their involvement as a model for others.”