Statement by NMHC President Doug Bibby on the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and continuing racial inequities:
The tragic killing of George Floyd, as well as Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, were unnecessary and heartbreaking. On behalf of NMHC members and the nation’s apartment industry, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Floyd, Arbery and Taylor families and loved ones. I also offer encouragement and support to all who are experiencing profound grief, uncertainty and anger due to the continuing racism and systemic inequities that have plagued our nation for too long.
These senseless murders are only the most recent public acts of violence against African Americans. The protests taking place in cities and towns throughout the country are an understandable and justifiable response as far too many atrocities like these continue to take place in our society.
Housing has long battled the onus of racial inequity and, today, given the impact of COVID-19 and looming economic hardships for so many, it is more important than ever before that housing is free from discriminatory practices. We strongly support fair housing laws and the principles they are based upon.
NMHC will be steadfast in our aim of ensuring that apartment communities are available and open to all, regardless of race. As an industry that houses 40 million Americans—many of them people of color—we have an acute responsibility to do all we can to rid our communities of racial injustice and bias.
Although I am deeply distressed by recent events, it is important for me to acknowledge that I understand we are not all impacted equally. The wisest approach for many of us is to listen, learn and only then see what role we can play in offering solutions. To that end, NMHC hosted a discussion between former NMHC Chair and Chairman and CEO of Avanath Capital Management Daryl Carter and me on possible action steps for the leaders, employees and other stakeholders within our industry. I encourage all those looking for ways they can make a difference to listen to and consider Daryl’s experience, advice and counsel. The discussion can be found here.
NMHC has long been committed to diversity, inclusion and expanding opportunity in the industry. We will continue to act on this commitment going forward by identifying new ways to broaden access to the industry. More information on NMHC’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative can be found here.