The Affiliate of the Year Award is given to a company or individual who has made significant contributions to the association that have impacted our REALTORS and our industry. This isn’t a reflection of financial contributions but rather the sharing of time, talent, resources and support of our efforts to serve the housing industry well.
This year, we are recognizing an affiliate for work that happened outside of our association walls, but greatly affects us all – we are proud to honor Greylock Federal Credit Union for their work in the Berkshire Regional Housing Collaborative Working Group to help develop a plan to create housing strategy to better meet the needs of our community…. but most importantly – for the report they commissioned in collaboration with the NAACP on Redlining in Pittsfield’s westside neighborhood.
The report sought to answer three questions.
- Was there redlining in Berkshire County?
- If there was, what are the ongoing effects on the Black population?
- What can be done to alleviate its effects?
The report became a pivotal piece in understanding how discriminatory housing policies of the past shaped our own Berkshire neighborhoods. This opened a conversation among housing professionals, and of course the REALTOR association, on how to not only address bias and equity in our actions in selling homes, but how we can also be a part of a broader community discussion as well.
Kudos to President John Bissell for his leadership and commitment to fair housing and exposing some hard truths about discrimination in our own fair community, and to the staff who embody professionalism and community mindedness.
Greylock Federal Credit Union
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