Why we still have a long way to go to make everyone feel welcome
At EHN we believe that everyone deserves to feel at home. No matter where you come from, what you believe in, look like, earn or language you speak. This is something that we strive for every day by helping people find a home and feel at home all over the Netherlands.
The news about one third of real estate agents being willing to discriminate on behalf of their client is something that does not surprise us, but still shocks us every time we face this in our work. Whether this happens explicitly or implicitly, it goes against everything we believe in and strive for.
We will be the first to admit that we at EHN are not perfect. We have a long way to go to ensure that EVERYONE - no matter one's ancestry, first language, income levels, education, religion, sexual preference, etc - genuinely and authentically feels at home in the Netherlands.
We are also aware that the majority of realtors are trusted professionals who do a great job and push back on their client’s requests to discriminate when it comes to accepting tenants from different countries, backgrounds or cultures. The number that does not however saddens us. Prejudice, bias and hidden racism are still out there and sometimes blatantly so.
This should change. We know that actions speak louder than words and that we can make it real by giving those who face discrimination a face and a voice. We would therefore love to hear your stories and experiences so we can share these with the world.
Please feel free to email us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In any way we will commit and continue to doing the following:
- Respect anyone from anywhere in the world. Their decisions, their beliefs, customs and their story
- Call out anyone who refuses to accept one of our clients based on background or nationality
- Say NO to realtors who are representing landlords who discriminate.
- Hold the companies in which these agents represent accountable. Let them know that discrimination has been experienced and demand that they address the issue.
- Listen to and learn from those who are facing discrimination on a regular basis
- Never take being welcomed for granted and continue to help those who are looking to feel at home
- We know we can't change the world by ourselves, but we can start by looking at ourselves and those around us.
What will you do?
This post was originally posted on EHN Founder Kimo Paula's LinkedIn.