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Nearly 28,000 real estate agents and brokers licensed in Minnesota have completed a two-year training program designed to eliminate racial inequities in homebuying.

According to a KAAL-TV / ABC 6 News report, the Minnesota Department of Commerce launched the program called “The History of Diversity in Homeownership” as a mandatory requirement for the renewal of real estate licenses. The program details how individual bias could interfere with fair practices.

All brokers and agents licensed in Minnesota will also need to take a follow-up training before July 1 called “Practical Application to Inclusive Representation” that details the value in promoting equitable homeownership. Separately, 2,000 property appraisers who work in Minnesota have also been trained to recognize and eliminate valuation bias in real estate transactions.

Research published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in 2022 found that prospective homebuyers in the Twin Cities who identified as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) had higher mortgage denial rates than white applicants even after accounting for credit scores and income.

“Commerce and the real estate industry are both aware that the history of real estate in Minnesota contains many examples of redlining and other unjust practices,” said Commissioner Grace Arnold. “We know that some past government practices had the effect of institutionalizing racism in real estate. Commerce is committed to reducing economic barriers and racial disparities for all Minnesotans when they are trying to buy or sell a home.”