As we celebrate our People & Culture Manager, Jasmin Lilis’ two-year anniversary at Framework, she shares her story on why the Framework mission aligns so profoundly with her values and how we can uplift all communities through the homeownership process.
Know Your Rights
“In mid-2020, my partner and I embarked on our homeownership journey in Minneapolis, MN, where we were determined to find our first dream home. Being an interracial queer couple with an interracial child, our ideal home would be located 15-20 minutes from the city in an LGBTQ+ and BIPOC-friendly neighborhood with good schools and supportive districts. Unfortunately, our lack of knowledge about the process led us to make some crucial mistakes. We hastily chose the first real estate agent recommended by a real estate listing website without exploring other options or confirming that the agent was truly on board to help us find our specific needs. The agent showed us homes in areas with higher crime rates in predominantly Black, Latinx, and Asian communities, even though we could afford homes in other areas near the ideal school district we wanted. We also were uncomfortable and disheartened by the agent’s side remarks regarding the stereotypes of the Black & Latinx community when we asked about the safety of those neighborhoods“
Potential homeowners must understand that real estate agents must abide by the Fair Housing Act and cannot discriminate against buyers or renters based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. So, it is illegal for real estate agents to make derogatory or prejudiced remarks or judge their clients based on race, ethnicity, or appearance. Being familiar with HUD’s resources will help empower first-time homebuyers to always make informed choices and to advocate for themselves and their needs to guarantee equal treatment.