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Bryan Greene

Vice President, Policy Advocacy, National Association of Realtors

Part 1: In this episode, Katie speaks with Bryan Greene, the Vice President of Policy Advocacy at the National Association of Realtors. Bryan has spent over two decades at the forefront of fair housing policy, serving as the highest-ranking official in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Bryan shares his powerful personal story of growing up in the highly segregated borough of Queens, New York, and how those experiences shaped his commitment to fighting housing discrimination. He provides sobering insights into the cascading harms caused by discriminatory housing practices, from limiting choice and opportunity to suppressing wealth accumulation in minority communities The conversation dives deep into the historical policies and systemic racism that created residential segregation patterns still evident today. Bryan advocates for greater public education on how recent housing policies are the most likely cause of the racial wealth gap in America. Looking ahead, Bryan outlines potential solutions like increasing housing supply, down payment assistance, rental credit in mortgage lending, and even mounting a “Marshall Plan” to address the nationwide housing shortage. He has written extensively on these issues for publications like the Smithsonian and Washington Post. This insightful discussion showcases Bryan’s decades of experience and passion for dismantling discriminatory housing practices and creating truly inclusive communities.

Part 2: In the second part of the interview, Bryan Greene discusses his transition from enforcing fair housing laws at HUD to joining the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as its first Director of Fair Housing Policy in 2019. He provides eye-opening details about the Newsday exposé on housing discrimination on Long Island that motivated him to quickly develop NAR’s “ACT” initiative – focusing on accountability, culture change, and improved training. Bryan expands on the components like effective interactive training, self-testing for brokerages, and strengthening state licensing laws. The conversation explores emerging focus areas like the tragic loss of generational wealth through “heir property” exploitation targeting black landowners. Bryan credits the 2020 racial reckoning after George Floyd’s murder for accelerating NAR’s fair housing priorities. Looking at closing the persistent homeownership gap between white and minority households, Bryan outlines multi-pronged strategies – increasing housing supply, down payment assistance, alternative credit evaluation for renters, and innovative “special purpose credit programs” by private lenders. He advocates for private employers to institute down payment benefits and partner across industries to promote the workforce and attainable housing developments. Throughout, Bryan provides candid insights into the public’s need for more education on how recent housing policies shaped today’s racial wealth disparities. The episode showcases NAR’s evolution into championing fair housing under Bryan’s leadership after initially opposing the 1968 Fair Housing Act. His passion for true inclusivity shines through as he maps the road ahead.