CARLE PLACE, NY (September 17, 2020) - State Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-Great Neck) announced new legislation today to combat the illegal unequal treatment of minority homebuyers on Long Island that was uncovered by Newsday in the "Long Island Divided" investigation series. The announcement follows joint hearings held today by the Senate committees on Housing, Investigations, and Consumer Protection. The legislation, S.8986, was written following hours of testimony by real estate salespeople and brokers who seemed to lack an understanding of the consequences of their harmful behavior, punctuated by others who concurred with the Senators that more needed to be done in order to combat the glaring problems that have been observed on Long Island.
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said “Today’s hearing made it very clear that we still have a long way to go in addressing the problems uncovered in Newsday’s “Long Island Divided” investigation. I was shocked by how many witnesses testified sincerely that they had no discriminatory intent in their conduct, yet they engaged in blatantly discriminatory conduct that perpetuates division and does harm to our communities. I believe these individuals lack an understanding of their own implicit biases, and it underscores the need for better education and training for all realtors and brokers.”
Senator Kaplan's legislation, S.8986, mandates all real estate brokers and salespeople to receive at least two hours of instruction pertaining to implicit bias awareness and understanding as part of their license renewal process every two years.
Currently, licensees must attend at least 22.5 hours of training as part of their bi-annual license renewal, including three hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing. The legislation would increase the total to 24.5 hours to accommodate the additional instruction in implicit bias, which is not presently covered by existing fair housing education mandates.