Diversity, Inclusion and Fair Housing

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board believes that everyone should have fair and equal access to housing and stridently supports the Fair Housing Act and all laws which seek to ensure everyone has access to housing including any and all protected classes as defined by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.  The Board and its members strongly condemn any other bias or discriminatory practice. It is our steadfast commitment ensure our membership has the resources, training and support needed to guard against discrimination of any kind and we work collaborative with local, state and federal partners to ensure all of our members have access to the training and supports needed to ensure we live up to these goals. We are proud of the work we have done to make certain Boston is a more welcoming city for all who live here and will continue to embody the highest standard of the Fair Housing Law.



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By Dylan Dhindsa , Boston Globe Correspondent
Updated February 13, 2022

The Greater Boston Association of Realtors has its first Black president.

Melvin A. Vieira Jr. of The Vieira Group at RE/Max Destiny is the 2022 president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors. We asked Vieira, who is originally from Boston, about becoming the organization’s first Black president and about the future of the GBAR, which is a subdivision of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and has more than 10,000 members.

(This interview has been edited and condensed.)

Q. Tell me about your background. How did you get to where you are today?

A. So I was in the METCO program and went to Foxborough High School. Then I lived in Washington, D.C., and went to Howard University. I ended up moving out to California in 1988 and became a realtor in 1989. When I was in college, I worked as a laborer, so when I moved to California, I’m like, “Hey, I can make more money being a laborer out here.” I was driving down Pacific Coast Highway, I look over and go, “Hey, if I can build one of these homes — how much does it cost?” But I knew that I could not get into building unless I understood the whole thing. I need to at least sell the product first. Well, I never got my builder’s license. I ended up becoming a real estate agent.

Q. Tell me about being the first Black president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.

A. Yes, I am the very first Black [president] of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, but I have been going through this process for the last eight years. So it didn’t happen just all of the sudden. I was not bestowed this because of Black Lives Matter or diversity, equity, and inclusion. By obtaining this level, I had to learn a lot. I knew why homeownership was very important, but I had to realize why the laws were being put in place and why certain things were being done to create homeownership or not create homeownership.

Q. What are your goals for GBAR during your tenure?

A. I hope that I get the realtor brand to be recognized and make it understood that when you are a realtor, you are held to a higher standard. You’re a part of something larger, which is about creating homeownership for all. The other thing that I really want to do is continue to push diversity, equity, and inclusion and continue the fair housing classes. I want to leave a thumbprint on whatever I touch.

Q. Can you expand on that?

A. We have fair housing classes all the time. We’re also in partnership with the City of Boston and MassHousing on different programs. I’ve been teaching first-time home buyer classes for 22 years. I also am part of YouthBuild. I’m really big into trying to get our youth to engage, especially in the construction field. I also go and talk to high school students and kids in elementary school. I’m trying to do the full circle working with youth, while I’m also trying to get my realtors to do the same thing and be community driven and serving. We also work with the YMCA as well, because the YMCA is one of the largest organizations that deal with homelessness.

Q. How do you think discrimination in real estate lending and appraisals should be addressed?

A. The system of not reaching across the aisle and only dealing with people you know needs to stop. More doors need to be opened. And people need to be willing to sit down and have conversations with other groups. Stop staying in a bubble. One of my biggest goals is to continue to kick open the door and have those hardcore conversations with people who may be uncomfortable — to educate them and see whether they’re willing to listen.
‘More Doors Need To Be Opened’
CBA Diversity Impact Fund




REFA Adopts Diversity and Inclusion Policy


GBREB Policy Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) and its five Divisions, being the Building Owners and Managers Association of Boston, the Commercial Brokers Association, the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, the Real Estate Finance Association and the Massachusetts Apartment Association, are committed to diversity and inclusion in all of its activities, including its programs, forums, and conferences. GBREB is equally dedicated to ensuring that the makeup of its membership, board, and program participants represents a diverse, inclusive, and dynamic group of individuals.
By embracing diversity and encouraging inclusion, GBREB and its five Divisions speak more effectively on behalf of the entire profession, establishing a high standard within the real estate industry and serving a fuller range of stakeholders.
To reflect their dedication to advancing diversity and inclusion in the real estate profession, GBREB and each of its five Divisions are committed to the following policies:

  • Establishing measurable objectives to achieve and communicate this policy.
  • Actively promoting the value of diversity and inclusion in the association’s staff and board positions.
  • Maximizing opportunities for each individual to contribute to the organization’s goals by actively ensuring a fully diverse body of staff and volunteer participants in appointments to task forces, special projects, decision-making activities, and leadership roles.
  • Seeking the best and brightest to participate in GBREB programs and with a regard for diversity of gender, race, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, veteran status, disability, religion or age.

Learn More at GBREB Divisions' Diversity & Inclusion Sites

Link to BOMA Diversity and Inclusion SiteLink to CBA Diversity and Inclusion SiteLink to GBAR Diversity and Inclusion SiteLink to MAA Diversity and Inclusion SiteLink to REFA Diversity and Inclusion Site