By Jenelle Isaacson, April 11, 2018

“Fundamentally, fair housing means that every person can live free. This means that our communities are open and welcoming, free from housing discrimination and hostility. But this also means that each one of us, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability, has access to neighborhoods of opportunity, where our children can attend quality schools, our environment allows us to be healthy, and economic opportunities and self sufficiency can grow.”

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

If you ask our Living Room agents what ranks as the top item on a buyer’s wish list, they will tell you often it is to live in a neighborhood with diversity. Our clients value the different perspectives and experiences living in a diverse neighborhood gives them to better understand our world. Being in community with others different than ourselves gives our lives depth. It also shows us just how universal so much of the human experience is and can make us feel more connected with the universe and the world.

We all want to live in a community where we know there is room for us regardless of our race, who we choose to love, or our religious beliefs. We should all be secure knowing there is room for us no matter our age or health. These are the foundations we build from to enjoy the spirit of true living; where there is room for celebration; music, Art, animals, gardens and for experiencing kindness, joy, and for togetherness. Diversity is an important part of the balance of a healthy community.

To ensure this diversity, I feel the most important thing we can do as Realtors is work towards ensuring the greatest number of people have the ability to buy a home. Homeownership invests us in our community in a profound way. It also provides financial stability and is foundational to democracy and our individual freedom. Homeownership can help keep communities intact and prevents them from being threatened by outside interests. Unfortunately the past still has rippling effects on the ability for many in our community to buy a home. Lasting effects of redlining, lack of access to credit, and predatory lending effect access to homeownership for many Americans.

Working toward living room for all means understanding the past and what policies and decisions were made that have resulted in the imbalances in homeownership and poverty we currently see in our city. A better understanding of the past helps us make better decisions for the future.

As agents here at Living Room we will join our community and our nation to celebrate Fair Housing Month. This marks the anniversary of the passing of the Fair Housing Act, passed in the wake of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination in 1968, which works to eliminate housing discrimination and create equal opportunity in our cities and communities, 

As Real Estate professionals it’s important to acknowledge equitable housing as a living commitment. Discrimination lives on today in practices that fail to live up to the promise of Fair Housing. Inequity and intolerance must be dismantled so that our communities provide the security and opportunity all Oregonians deserve.

We hope you will join us to ‘Make Room to Live’ for all.

photo via Atlanta Black Star

Jenelle Isaacson


What does being lead singer and guitar player in a female punk band have in common with starting a real estate company in the middle of a recession? Not many people can answer that question. But when you ask Jenelle Isaacson, founder and CEO of Living Room Realty, there’s no hesitation; where most would see a chasm, she sees a bridge. For Jenelle, it’s all been about finding a voice—the singular and irrepressible expression of self. Once a quiet, studious, high-school girl growing up in Portland, Jenelle started a punk band after college. She played guitar, wrote cathartic songs, performed, and traveled across country while living out of a van. All that seems light years from the present moment--owning a successful, growing company; serving on boards of civic and philanthropic organizations; enjoying family life with her two young daughters and long-time partner. Still, she uses the same voice now that began to emerge on stage years ago. Whether it’s business or music, “It’s important to know what your voice is. If it’s true, it will resonate.” Jenelle’s voice, her truth, is about being brave enough to take action without apology, being heard without being exploited, to be energized, constantly problem-solving and refining her skills in the pursuit of building a purpose-driven company. All this requires risk-taking. She’s learned the hard way that she can’t fix everything and that not everyone will share her vision. But even as she explains the difficult choices she’s faced, Jenelle radiates joy. “It’s never okay to play small,” she says with conviction. And this, more than anything, is what she strives to impart to other women, empowering them to pursue their passion whole-heartedly and to be leaders who speak with their own unique, unapologetic voice. Living Room Realty, founded in 2009, offers residential, commercial, and property management services. Living Room ranks in the top 15 real estate companies in Oregon, with more than 110 affiliated broker-agents. For more information, visit Noted Achievements: First west coast real estate office to receive B Corp status • Top Workplaces, 2014-2016 • 100 Best Workplaces in Oregon 2017 • 100 Best Green Companies 2017 • Oregon Business in Ethics Awards in 2014 • Jenelle has been featured in The Portland Monthly, Oregon Business, and Realtor Magazine • Portland Business Journal 40 under 40 Business Leaders • Board of Directors, Rock n Roll Camp for Girls, receiving 2015 award for creative philanthropy • Board Member, Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Network, Portland chapter • Orchid Award recipient for Business and Civic Contributions • Guest speaker: OPB’s Think Out Loud, Investor Beat, Cascadia Green Building Council • Advocate speaking on behalf of Benefit Corporation legislation with Oregon Secretary of State, Kate Brown
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