Ideas for Using a Housing Opportunity Grant
The following activities help create or improve systems, programs and policies that expand access to housing that is affordable. Use these ideas for inspiration and review Expanding Housing Opportunity: A Toolkit for REALTORS® and Associations for practical tips on conducting a successful activity. If you have an idea but are not sure if it is eligible for a grant, contact Christine Windle at 202-383-1135.
Level 1 – Housing Opportunity Grant Ideas
Education for REALTORS®: Offer a class to provide information about buyer assistance programs that could help their clients or to teach REALTORS® about working with first-time buyers.
Guest Speaker: Host a guest speaker who can provide information to increase understanding of a specific affordable housing issue. The event could be for the public or for REALTORS®.
Community Stakeholder Meeting: Bring together REALTORS®, elected officials, nonprofits, housing advocacy groups, community members and others brainstorm solutions for local housing issues and to share information about each organization’s programs and resources.
Level 2 – Housing Opportunity Grant Ideas
Housing Forum: An event organized to discuss a particular issue or situation related to a housing issue in the community. Aimed at solving a problem, a forum often results in a report, plan, or action items.
Housing Symposium: Features multiple speakers who explain a topic related to housing; often highlighting differing views and ideas. Typically a good way to identify a range of policy and program solutions for further consideration.
Housing Study/Analysis: Quantify housing challenges by examining issues such as growth patterns, the cost of homes compared to wages, or the feasibility of new development. Or, focus on a particular topic, such as accessory dwelling units. The study/analysis may also include recommendations, such as policy solutions.
Housing Fair: Typically geared toward first-time homebuyers, housing fairs are a one-stop shop resource featuring vendors and experts whose services would likely be needed during the homebuying process, such as housing counselors, lenders, home inspectors, closing attorneys.
“Parade of Homes”: A parade or showcase of homes event allows potential buyers to see multiple homes, in a defined affordable price range, within a set timeframe. The event should be paired with the opportunity for participants to learn about the buying process.
Housing Task Force: A task force is a temporary or long-term group of organizations and individuals who share the common purpose of expanding housing opportunities. The task force may focus broadly on housing affordability or work on a specific topic such as supply issues.
Homeownership Education: Classes are an effective way to engage the community and help prepare potential buyers for the responsibilities of ownership. HUD-approved counseling agencies often make ideal partners for consumer education efforts.
Education and Awareness: Conduct an education and awareness campaign geared toward community members to explain what housing affordability is (and is not) and why having homes in a range of prices benefits everyone.
Level 3 – Housing Opportunity Grants
Approved activities must be comprehensive, have a broad community reach, significant REALTOR® involvement, and must include working with at least one non-REALTOR® partner organization.