The deadline to submit an application for Transforming Neighborhoods was May 1.

Program Overview

The National Association of REALTORS® is seeking applications from local REALTOR® associations for Transforming Neighborhoods, which provides REALTORS® with the opportunity to learn alongside their local partners on underlying factors that keep vacant abandoned and deteriorated properties “stuck” in decline and ways to address these properties to create vibrant and equitable communities.

Vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties have severe negative impacts on neighborhoods and the people living in them, including economic, social, psychological, physical, and environmental. Developing a comprehensive, community-driven approach to address the negative impacts of VAD properties requires the coordinated efforts of a wide range of public, private, and community stakeholders.

National Association of REALTORS® is pleased to collaborate with the Center for Community Progress (CCP) to offer place based trainings and technical assessment opportunities to communities across the U.S. to understand and assess, systems and policies to more effectively address the challenges and costs imposed by vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties with a focus on equity, inclusion, and resiliency.

About our Partner

The mission of Center for Community Progress is to foster strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Founded in 2010, Community Progress is the leading national, nonprofit resource for urban, suburban, and rural communities seeking to address the full cycle of property revitalization. The organization fulfills its mission by nurturing strong leadership and supporting systemic reforms. Community Progress works to ensure that public, private, and community leaders have the knowledge and capacity to create and sustain change. It also works to ensure that all communities have the policies, tools, and resources they need to support the effective, equitable reuse of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties.

About the Services

Place-Base Trainings

A place-based training brings national expertise to a community to help stakeholders pave the way forward. When REALTORS® learn and develop skills alongside other stakeholders, experience and knowledge is shared and can support effective, equitable revitalization strategies. Selected communities will have the opportunity to receive a place-based training to build a common awareness of the problems associated with VAD properties and reach consensus on the roles each can play in a comprehensive approach.


  • NAR will cover the costs of engaging CCP and bringing national experts to your community to conduct the place-based training on the policies, processes and systems associated with vacant, abandoned and deteriorated properties. (a $15,000 value)
  • Educate local stakeholders to understand the interconnected causes of problem properties and grow in their ability to lead profound change.
  • Place-based trainings blend classroom presentations with interactive discussion, small group activities, and hands-on learning. Recognizing the importance of equipping participants with knowledge and skills to make change happen, content emphasizes the practical over the philosophical, relying heavily on real-world examples of best practices.
  • CCP will work in partnership with local associations to set an agenda and identify the training best suited for the associations’ jurisdictions. Based on the training agenda CCP will select subject matter experts to conduct the technical training.


  • The REALTOR® association is responsible for expenses related to the event including but not limited to venue rental, catering, marketing, and any additional speakers that are not directly engaged by CCP as technical experts.  These items are not included in the expenses covered by NAR. Please note that associations may not use any NAR grant programs to cover these expenses.
  • The REALTOR® association must be able to provide logistical and administrative support required to host a full-day (8 hour) training in 2020. This may include coordinating participant registration, securing adequate event space and audio/visual equipment, and providing refreshments for participants.

Preliminary Technical Assessment

A preliminary assessment by the Community Progress’ Technical Assistance team helps communities identify underlying factors that keep problem properties “stuck” in decline and provides an understanding of the existing tools or new powers that can strengthen revitalization efforts.  Select communities will have the opportunity for a team of technical experts to conduct a preliminary assessment of existing policies, processes, and tools in place for addressing VAD properties, and to share preliminary findings and recommendations on how to build a more equitable, effective, and efficient approach to vacancy and abandonment.


  • NAR will cover the costs of engaging CCP and bringing national technical experts to your community to conduct the preliminary assessment. (up to a $20,000 value)
  • The REALTOR® association and government partners will receive copies of final deliverable(s) (i.e. memo, presentation, stakeholder meetings, etc.)


In order for the team of technical experts to satisfactorily complete the preliminary assessment, the REALTOR® association:

  • Will be required to arrange meetings with local government leaders and staff, as well as resident leaders, particularly those most impacted by vacancy and abandonment. Additional meetings with other key stakeholders and leaders in the civic, nonprofit, private and philanthropic sectors may also be required to allow the team of technical experts to.
  • Must ensure commitment from local stakeholders, particularly government leaders and staff, to share relevant data, practices, and processes related to the key systems of vacancy and abandonment, including but not limited to: parcel data management systems, housing and building code enforcement systems, delinquent property tax enforcement, and land reuse systems.

If selected for this service, a preliminary technical assessment will be completed in lieu of a full-day place-based training.  However, we will work with your association to determine educational opportunities for a broader group of association members.

Selection Criteria

Demonstrated track record of partnerships with local partners – Property vacancy and abandonment are rooted in a diverse array of legal and operational systems and complicated historical dynamics, and because reducing vacancy and abandonment requires involvement of multiple government and community stakeholders, applicants who demonstrate genuine collaboration with local partners will be prioritized.

Demonstrated need Transforming Neighborhoods is committed to effect positive change in communities facing significant inventories of vacant, abandoned, and problem properties that threaten residents’ quality of life. Please be detailed and thoughtful in describing the scale of the problem in your community, and how your community and its residents are affected by vacancy and abandonment.

Commitment to Equity – Policies developed in the absence of close collaboration with the communities most affected by those policies are at best ineffective and at worst harmful. The most competitive applicants will address the importance of racial equity and have a plan for the role of residents in the education and assessment of a system or strategy to address vacant, abandoned, and problem properties.

Application Requirements and Deadline

  • All applicants must complete the Challenges and Opportunities section.
  • By completing the Challenges and Opportunities section your association will be considered for a place-based training.
  • To be considered for a preliminary assessment, applicants must complete the Preliminary Technical Assessment section in addition to the Challenges and Opportunities section.
  • NAR and Community Progress will determine which service will be most valuable to accommodate the needs and opportunities presented in your responses.

2019 Trainings

  • Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS® (view agenda)
  • Bay County REALTOR® Association (view agenda)
  • REALTORS® Association of Westmoreland, Indiana and Mon Valley (view agenda)
  • Spokane Association of REALTORS® (view agenda)
  • Walker Area Association of REALTORS® (view agenda)