The prize-winning reporter who was part of the crack investigative team of journalists that blew the doors off blatant discriminatory housing practices in New York will be the keynote speaker at a Fair Housing luncheon sponsored by the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® Friday, May 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Jacksonville Marriott, 4670 Salisbury Rd., 32256.
During the luncheon, NEFAR will also recognize members who have been named to Florida Realtor’s 2020 Honor Society and will award them their pins.
Bill Dedman, who was part of the Newsday team of four lead investigative journalists in their Peabody Award-winning series, “Long Island Divided,” and its 40-minute documentary film, “Testing the Divide,” will give NEFAR members a virtual guided tour inside the investigation that sparked an awareness of blatant racial discrimination in the housing industry. In response to the Newsday investigation, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) added anti-bias training, including its online fair housing simulation Fairhaven, to its educational stable for REALTORS® and has worked to review state laws. NAR is also developing a self-testing program for brokerages to monitor agents for fair housing compliance.
Dedman has also won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for his work at The Atlanta Constitution on “The Color of Money,” a series on racial discrimination by banks and savings and loan associations in middle-income Black neighborhoods. The series led to expanded federal laws on disclosure of loan data, new financing for middle-income homebuyers, and a greater awareness of systemic racial discrimination.
The “Long Island Divided” investigation focused on illegal steering of customers by real estate agents in New York. Dedman and his Newsday colleagues developed the methodology for the investigation, which included recruiting, training, and deploying 25 testers with hidden cameras. The series was printed in November 2019 and revealed that Long Island’s dominant residential real estate brokerages were helping to reinforce racial segregation through the illegal steering of clients.
As a reporter, Dedman has also written for The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. As a lecturer, he has spoken on fair housing and fair lending issues to the National Association of REALTORS®, the Federal Reserve, HUD, and numerous banking and real estate associations.
Dedman is also the author of the best-selling nonfiction work, “Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune.” A reclusive copper heiress, Clark was an American painter and philanthropist, who spent her later years as a recluse, living in hospitals for more than 20 years while her various mansions remained unoccupied. The book reveals the true story of Clark and her father, the Gilded Age industrialist who founded Las Vegas. Dedman often speaks before financial-planning groups and charities on lessons learned from the Clark family’s failure in estate planning.