An act to amend the real property law, in relation to requiring the
secretary of state to require that real estate brokers and salespersons
compile and disclose certain demographic information
Requires the Secretary of State to collect from real estate brokers and
salespersons the demographic data of their clients. Requires the Secre-
tary of State to maintain a database of and issue an annual report of
this information.
Section 1 amends the real property law by adding a new section 442-m.
This section requires real estate brokers to compile demographic infor-
mation about each of their clients and the ultimate dispositions of
their clients' interactions on a yearly basis and annually provide this
information to the Department of State in a manner prescribed by the
Secretary of State. Real estate brokers shall retain such information
for a period of two years. The Secretary of State shall maintain a data-
base of this information and provide it annually to the Governor, Attor-
ney General, temporary president of the Senate, and the speaker of the
Assembly. The information shall not be disclosed to the public unless
the data has been anonymized. The Secretary of State shall issue an
annual report to the Governor, Attorney General, temporary president of
the Senate, and the speaker of the Assembly, and make such report avail-
able to the public.
Section 2 sets forth the effective date.
Outside oversight is necessary to ensure those in the real estate indus-
try are meeting their fair housing obligations. One possible tool to
ensure standards are met would be the statewide collection of data on
demographics of prospective homebuyers and renters who seek the advice
of real estate brokers and agents and the outcomes of their inter-
actions. This bill will act similarly to the federal Home Mortgage
Disclosure Act, which requires every mortgage lender to disclose data to
the federal government on every application received including the
applicant's basic demographic information, the application decision,
and, where applicable, the price of the loan. Requiring brokers to
disclose demographic information regarding their clients would help to
identify potentially discriminatory patterns, implicit biases, and other
concerning indicators.
It is imperative that the State be proactive in eliminating housing
discrimination and affirmatively identify bad actors. Developing, main-
taining, and monitoring such data in a timely manner will allow the
State to better understand the dynamics of the housing market as experi-
enced by people of various races and ethnicities, and will enable both
the state and realty firms to review their progress in promoting fair
housing goals and treating clients equally without regard for their race
or ethnicity.
There will be costs associated with collecting, maintaining, and
publishing data incurred by the Secretary of State.
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have
become a law. Effective immediately, the adoption, amendment and/or
repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of
this act on its effective date is authorized to be made on or before
such date.