Mandatory education on Fair Housing now in effect
Real estate licensees in Washington must complete a new 6-hour Fair Housing course under a law that went into effect on June 1.
Additionally, only pre-approved schools or instructors may offer the mandatory course titled "Washington Real Estate Fair Housing (6-hr) (3-hr)." This is the only course approved to date. Instructors and schools can submit applications by signing into their SAW account and completing the form. The goal of these limitations, according to the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL), is "to ensure all licensees have the necessary training and understanding of historic and current discriminations surrounding the buying, selling, and renting of houses."
DOL was charged with implementing Substitute Senate Bill 5378 and developing the curriculum with input from several entities. The licensing department is also updating the Real Estate Fundamentals and Real Estate Law course to include Fair Housing.
All brokers and managing brokers renewing their licenses in 2022 must take the approved Fair Housing course by June 1, 2023 (a full year from now). Those who completed their education before June 1, 2022, including those who obtained their first license before June 1, 2022, are required to take the class prior to renewal. Upon completing the Fair Housing course, existing licensees will receive credit on their account.
Licensees can log into their account to search for the new course and an accredited school. Those who fail to complete the mandatory Fair Housing training curriculum by the deadline will be out of compliance and their license will expire.
As part of the implementation process and development of course curriculum, DOL conducted listening sessions for feedback from stakeholders, schools, instructors, and the public. Among entities they identified as providing input were:
• Associations that represent real estate brokers and agents;
• Washington State Commission on African American Affairs;
• Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs;
• Governor's Office of Indian Affairs;
• Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs;
• Washington State Human Rights Commission;
• Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment;
• Washington State LGBTQ Commission; and
• Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
DOL has published a 3-page Q&A document for licensees and posts updates on its News page.
Questions may be directed to: DOLEducation5378@dol.wa.gov.
Licensees can also subscribe to DOL's listserv for updates: Real Estate Program LISTSERV.