Posted on March 31, 2024

Fair Housing: Accessibility and Stability In An Increasingly Digitized, High Cost, and High Demand Housing Market

Article by Shannon Bedard, Fair Housing Advocacy Director, NWFHA, Mar. 2024

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the public and private housing industry’s typical office hours were 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. During the pandemic’s shut down and stay-at-home orders (2020 -2023), the housing industry ceased direct contact with housing customers (buyers, sellers, applicants, and tenants). Offices closed and housing industry employees worked from home with newly discovered technologies such as Zoom. Now (2024), many offices have permanently shuttered, and in-person customer service has vanished. Business automation and digitalization has replaced personable communications, and for many customers, is unnavigable, despite its availability 7 days a week / 24 hrs. a day.


Three and a half years later, in 2024, many of the pandemic “virtual” transactions are now standard practice and the bulk of housing transactions are completed “remotely.” These changes have both increased and decreased consumer housing opportunities as successful participation within the new housing market depends on computer knowledge, internet access, technology, and equipment.

This has profound Fair Housing implications; at Northwest Fair Housing Alliance, we hear from the public that finding, selling, buying, maintaining, and keeping oneself and family housed has become much, much more difficult and for some it is downright impossible.

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