Fair Housing Quiz

 Debbi Conrad  |    April 12, 2021
Fair Housing Quiz

How familiar are you with fair housing? Test your knowledge and find out! Select the best answer(s) to the following questions. See how you scored on page 19.

1. How is implicit bias relevant to real estate professionals?

A. It is a “thinking trap” that can lead to a REALTOR® losing a sale because they are distracted by financing concerns.

B. Real estate professionals know they must treat people fairly, and they always avoid biases.

C. It describes what happens when, despite their best intentions and without their awareness, racial stereotypes and assumptions creep into their minds and affect their actions.

D. It causes other agents to act unprofessionally because they favor their own parties.

2. A real estate agent suggests an African American couple focus their search in a predominantly African American neighborhood and discourages them from looking at a nearby predominantly white neighborhood. Which of the following describes this scenario?

A. The agent is violating fair housing law by steering the buyers toward or away from neighborhoods based upon perceived protected characteristics, such as race.

B. The agent is doing his job, using his expertise and applying his best judgment to do what is beneficial for all concerned. 

C. This is legal steering done to fulfill what the agent thinks the buyers want.

D. This practice will help maintain the respective property values in each neighborhood.

3. Redlining is a discriminatory practice that puts services — financial and otherwise — out of reach for residents of certain areas based on race or ethnicity. Which of the following is not true?

A. If you lived in a redlined neighborhood in the mid 1900s, you still could receive an FHA mortgage or GI Bill benefits.

B. Cities zoned redlined neighborhoods for industry, thereby increasing environmental pollutants, and laid out highways through redlined neighborhoods.

C. George Floyd was killed in a redlined neighborhood.

D. Redlining is the discriminatory practice of systematic denial of financing and other services to residents of certain neighborhoods or communities associated with a certain racial or ethnic group.

4. President Biden’s executive order issued January 20, 2021, based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 holding in Bostock v. Clayton County, accomplished what?

A. Directs federal agencies to interpret the Fair Housing Act prohibition of discrimination “because of sex” to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

B. Requires a married same-sex couple applying for public housing to be treated exactly the same as any other married couple.

C. Requires that a transgender woman could not be refused a rental apartment because the owner disapproves of her transition.

D. Not enough according to advocates who believe it is vital that Congress pass the Equality Act to codify these protections and fill in gaps in existing civil rights laws.

5. What should the broker do if a buyer asks for information relating to the ethnic composition of a neighborhood?

A. The broker may share his or her personal observations about the people seen in the neighborhood and their ethnicity because the buyer asked.

B. If asked for such information, REALTORS® should refer buyers to the U.S. Census, community resources or another recognized impartial source of demographic information. 

C. The broker should tell the buyer it is illegal for the buyer to consider the ethnic or racial composition of a neighborhood because that means the buyer is discriminatory.

D. Recommend that wherever the buyer is going to buy diapers during the day, go there at 10 o’clock at night and see what the ethnic composition is. 

6. Fairhaven at fairhaven.realtor is an immersive simulation where agents work against the clock to close four deals. Which is not true about Fairhaven?

A. In the fictional town of Fairhaven, agents must choose how to respond to various sticky fair housing discrimination situations in real estate to close the deals. 

B. Agents in Fairhaven advance through the simulation based on their choices as agents only but unfortunately don’t see discrimination from the parties’ perspectives.

C. Fairhaven uses the immersive power of storytelling to deliver powerful lessons to help promote equality in U.S. housing markets.

D. In Fairhaven, agents are placed in situations involving race, accessibility, disability, illegal steering, gender identity, language barriers, reasonable accommodations and other fair housing problems.

7. The owner has a two-bedroom apartment for rent and received a rental application from a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, and two children. Does she have to approve the application?

A. Maybe. Occupancy standards may be created and consistently applied to meet legitimate reasons, such as the health and safety of the occupants, preventing overcrowding or infrastructure limitations.

B. Maybe. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1998 issued guidance setting a general standard of two persons per bedroom, but this is not an ironclad, automatic standard and other criteria must be considered such as size and number of bedrooms, size of unit, and age of children. 

C. No. By law, the maximum is two people per bedroom, and there are no exceptions.

D. Both A and B. 

8. Ruth Bader Ginsberg created change and empowered females in real estate. Which statements are true?

A. In 1974, Ginsburg paved the way for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which allowed women to apply for bank accounts, credit cards and mortgages without needing a male cosigner.

B. While Ginsburg did not explicitly change the real estate industry for female agents, she did fight for all women to receive equal rights.

C. Ginsburg continuously supported the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which stated that employers could not base employment decisions on whether a woman is or could become pregnant.

D. All of the above.

9. Which is not a best practice to help agents avoid illegal steering? 

A. Provide buyers with listings based on their objective criteria alone.

B. Share your observations and opinions when asked if the neighborhood is safe. 

C. Learn to pay attention to your unconscious biases. When evaluating what a client objectively wants, ask yourself why you have eliminated certain areas, if you have.

D. Ask prospects for their criteria such as price range and proximity to work, shopping and schools.

10. “No persons other than the white race shall own or occupy any building on said tract, but this covenant shall not prevent occupancy of persons of a race other than the white race who are domestic servants of the owner or occupant of said buildings.” What is this statement?

A. An example of the type of covenant that the U.S. Supreme Court held in 1926 was legal because it was private and voluntary.

B. An example of the type of racial covenant that needed to be in place in order to obtain FHA financing in 1934.

C. An example of the type of racially restrictive covenant the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was judicially unenforceable in 1948.

D. A discriminatory covenant recorded in Greendale, Wisconsin in 1958.

How did you score? Keep scrolling to see the answer key.

Debbi Conrad is Senior Attorney and Director of Legal Affairs for the WRA.


Answer Key

1. Answer C. Implicit bias involves those automatic associations that emerge instantly in their unconscious brains regarding groups and identities like race, sex, age or religion and may impact decisions made in transactions.

2. Answer A. The agent is violating fair housing law by steering the buyers toward or away from neighborhoods based on perceived protected characteristics, such as race. Agents must provide equal professional services based on the buyer’s criteria for a home.

3. Answer A. Government-imposed redlining systematically denied FHA loans and GI benefits and determined who could accumulate government-subsidized wealth.

4. ALL ARE TRUE. The executive order directs agencies to enforce federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, consistent with the Bostock decision.

5. Answer B. Brokers should never give an estimate or opinion on the racial, religious or ethnic composition of a neighborhood and instead should provide objective resources. The buyer can investigate and decide for themselves.

6. Answer B. If you have visited Fairhaven, you will know! Fairhaven visitors are also placed in the role of buyers experiencing discrimination and can watch powerful video testimonials illustrating the impact of housing discrimination in real people’s lives.

7. BOTH A and B. The owner may enforce her rental policies and occupancy standards if they are based on legitimate grounds, uniformly applied and preferably in writing.

8. Answer D. Ginsburg empowered women as buyers and as real estate agents through the cases she argued.

9. Answer B. Agents should always stick with objective information about neighborhoods as well as about a property. Agents must keep their opinions to themselves.  


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