WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Association of Realtors® and Realtor.com® today honored three winners of the Fair Housing Champion Awards during NAR’s Fair Housing Month event, “At What Price? Overcoming Barriers to Homeownership”. Honorees received recognition for their efforts to widen homeownership access in their communities.
With the Fair Housing Champion Award, Realtors® are recognized for going above and beyond to promote fair housing and increase homeownership in underserved communities. Sponsored by Realtor.com®, the Award provides a $5,000 prize that winners can dedicate to a housing-related nonprofit organization of their choice.
“In every zip code in America, NAR is dedicated to fostering the development of thriving, inclusive communities,” said NAR President Kenny Parcell. “Affordability and fair housing are the biggest challenges facing the real estate industry today and I am so proud of all the work our winners have put in to increase access to homeownership. They have set an example of leadership and I hope their work will motivate others to take action.”
This year’s winners:
Abra Barnes is the broker-owner of Barnes & Associates, REALTORS® in Birmingham, Alabama. The brokerage is a full-service firm assisting with residential sales, commercial sales and leasing, investor coaching, new construction marketing and acquisitions. Barnes & Associates is also passionate about working in low- to moderate-income areas in Birmingham, empowering clients with the knowledge they need to purchase real estate and build generational wealth. Although Barnes’ 41 agents’ focus is residential real estate, Barnes primary focus is commercial real estate. She works with affordable housing developers, nonprofits, and fledgling business owners who are seeking their first brick-and-mortar space. Barnes helped raise awareness of the lingering effects of past discrimination as executive producer of “Lenders, Landlords, and the Law: A Fair Housing Reflection on Diversity and Inclusion”.
Sofia Crisp is the executive director at Housing Consultants Group in Greensboro and High Point, North Carolina. Crisp, a 30-year veteran in the business and 2023 president of the Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association, leverages her industry knowledge and community connections to build bridges to homeownership. She operates HCG as a nonprofit brokerage working with the city of Greensboro, nonprofit organizations, lenders, and a nonprofit builder to help clients get into new homes at an affordable cost.
Frank J. Williams is the managing director of F.J. Williams Realty in Chicago, Illinois. Williams has been a fierce advocate for fair housing legislation on the state and local level where he believes fair housing isn’t just about integrating neighborhoods—it’s also about integrating the industry. He was president of the Southside Chicago chapter of the NAACP from 1979 to 1985, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® in 1989, CAR REALTOR® of the Year in 1992, and an inductee into the CAR Hall of Fame in 2017. Williams opened his real estate brokerage on the southwest side of Chicago in January 1971 where he continues his crusade as a broker, educator and leader today.
“Discrimination and a lack of housing affordability disproportionately impact marginalized communities and that makes it harder for many individuals to gain access to homeownership and start building generational wealth,” said Realtor.com® Chief Marketing Officer Mickey Neuberger. “Reator.com® applauds these Fair Housing Champions for their progress towards ensuring greater fair housing access for everyone and embodying the core values of our “To Each Their Home” tagline by helping close the homeownership gap.”
For more information and to read more about the award winners, please visit https://www.nar.realtor/fair-housing/fair-housing-champion-award.