Racism in the Homebuying Process

Racial injustice has been woven into homebuying and homeownership for centuries, and its legacy of inequality and segregation lives on today.

To fight this system of oppression, we need to first understand it — how it came to be, how it’s still exercised, and why more isn’t done to stop it.

Below, you’ll find our ongoing series about racial injustice in the homebuying process, from tools to help you spot discrimination to information on where to report it, and the history behind it.

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Spotting Discrimination in Homebuying

“Are you married?” “Are you pregnant?” Umm … are they allowed to ask that? The short answer is: No.

Coming from mortgage lenders, real estate agents, and other professionals in the housing industry, these types of questions, even if they seem well-intentioned, are illegal under the Fair Housing Act.

Read more about discrimination in homebuying.

'Steering' in Real Estate

What is Steering in Real Estate?

If a real estate agent or another pro in the homebuying process tries to influence your decision to live in one area or another in any way, it could be considered “steering,” which is a violation of your civil rights.

Racial steering, specifically, is when a real estate agent, mortgage lender, or any other professional, influences a homebuyer’s decision to live in a community mostly populated by people of the same race.

Here’s what you need to know about steering in real estate.


“Struggle is a never-ending process.
Freedom is never really won.
You earn it and win it in every generation.”

– Coretta Scott King
Woman holding a cup of coffee while reading a book.

Resources on Racism in Housing

We compiled a list of resources hand-selected by the Framework and Keep employees, partners, and friends.

It’s a starting point that we hope will offer insight, perspective, and an opportunity for all of us to reflect on why learning — and sometimes unlearning.

Arm yourself with our list of resources on racism in housing.

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Our Response to Racial Injustice

At Framework Homeownership and Keep Home, it’s our mission to acknowledge and confront structural and persistent barriers of systemic racism that have historically kept people of color from experiencing the benefits of homeownership.

As we continue to actively examine how we as an organization can do our part to call out and correct systemic racial injustice, we will share our thoughts, plans, and actions here to keep the momentum toward effecting real, lasting change.

Learn more about our response to racial injustice.

A Personal Testimony: Housing Discrimination & Empowering Advocacy

At Framework, we embrace empowering individuals to advocate for themselves, fair housing, and against homeownership discrimination.

 Our People & Culture Manager, Jasmin Lilis’ celebrates her two-year anniversary at Framework, as 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. 

If you feel you are a victim of housing discrimination, contact a fair housing center. Learn more about Spotting Discrimination in Real Estate 

A Personal Testimony: Housing Discrimination & Empowering Advocacy