Mark Meek has spent 25 years as a residential real estate broker, and in the last five years he has taken a second job – Oregon state representative, representing an area about 30 miles south of Portland.
Those dual roles merged last year when Meek chaired a state task force, “Addressing Racial Disparities in Home Ownership.” It was Meek’s job, he said, to envision legislative solutions for the fact that just 38% of Black Oregon residents own a home compared to 65% of white Oregonians.
What the lawmaker came up with has ignited a national debate among real estate agents, on the weighty subject of Fair Housing Act violations and the invariably emotional home sale process.
House Bill 2550, which the Oregon legislature passed earlier this month and is before Gov. Kate Brown, contains a single, bolded sentence that would change existing law.
“In order to help a…