Frequently Asked QuestionsA

Who is eligible to apply for Smart Growth grants?

Applications can only be submitted by a state or local REALTOR® association.

What are the maximum funding amounts?

There are three grant levels.  Requests may be made up to the  maximum amount. Amount approved depends on whether all of the grant criteria was met.

  • Level 1 – $3,000 maximum.
  • Level 2 – $7,500 maximum
  • Level 3 – $15,000 maximum

How many Smart Growth grants can my association receive in a calendar year?

An association can receive one grant in each level per year.

What Types of Events/Activities can the Level 1 Fund

The grant can support hosting an education, such as NAR’s Smart Growth for the 21st Century Class, a guest speaker to address a specific growth and land use issue or stakeholder meeting.

What Types of Activities/Initiatives can the Level 2 Fund

The grant can fund efforts to engage in local land-use/growth/transportation policy issues with other stakeholders and elected officials.

  • Community Planning, Input, Outreach & Engagement
    • Visioning sessions and charrettes.
    • Better Block projects, Main Street Analysis, Walkable Community Workshops/Audits, Placemaking visioning, etc.
  • Development of Community Plans
    • Strategic, general, master, comprehensive, land use, park/open space, bicycle/pedestrian, placemaking, etc.
  • Development/Updating of Policies/Ordinances/Legislation
    • Complete Streets, Zoning Codes, etc.
  • Studies & Reports
    • Market Analysis, Land Use Analysis, etc.
  • Conferences, events and webinars.  Please note that REALTORS® must be substantially engaged such as serving on a conference planning committee, planning a conference session, speaking or serving as moderator to a session or involved in follow-up event activity.

What Types of Initiatives can the Level 3 Fund

As with the Level 2, the Level 3 can fund efforts to engage in local land-use/growth/transportation policy issues with other stakeholders and elected officials. However, the activity has to be a comprehensive initiative, demonstrate a commitment to have a positive impact on a community, and involve multiple partners and/or stakeholders.

  • Includes a plan of action to use the outcomes of the activity in an advocacy effort.
  • Associations need to partner with at least one non-REALTOR® organization (e.g. nonprofit or government agency, etc.).
  • Activities should be comprehensive and have a broad community reach.
  • An association, and/or its members, need to be engaged in the project activities.
  • Activity enhances the growth and development of a community.
  • Activity enables efforts to address concerns with, and enhancement to, current public policy.

These activities include the following:

What activities are NOT eligible for grant funds:

  • REALTOR® association staff time/hours
  • General operating expenses
  • Materials for construction/rehab of a property or purchase of land
  • Fundraising contributions
  • Registration fees for REALTOR® education or other events
  • Landscaping materials or equipment
  • Donations, cash prizes or purchase of gifts and prizes
  • Projects that benefit a single property owner
  • Sponsorship of a conference unless substantially engaged (see above)
  • Events that have already taken place or for activities completed prior to submission of application.

Is my association required to make a financial contribution toward our activity in order to qualify for a grant?

As part of NAR’s Right Tools, Right Now, the 10% financial contribution requirement is waived from January 3rd to December 31st, 2023.

What are the grant deadlines for submission?

October 16 2023.

We are partnering with another REALTOR® association for an activity. Can we both apply for a grant?

Multiple associations can apply for funding for the same activity. However, the combined funding request cannot exceed the maximum award for the grant level.

What criteria is used to evaluate the grant applications?

  • The proposed activity needs to impact public policies that support one or more of the 10 Smart Growth Principles.
    • This includes public policies that support development of green residential and commercial buildings.
    • Proposals that address housing issues must do so from the point of view of land-use public policy issues (zoning codes, community planning, development issues, etc.) and cannot be used to fund efforts such as housing programs or housing construction.
  • The proposed activity involves a significant level of commitment from the association such as member engagement, financial contribution, and/or staff time.
  • The proposed activity creates or enhances strategic partnerships among REALTORS®, elected officials and other community stakeholders and organizations.

Do we need to submit an evaluation form?

The association must submit the evaluation form after completion of the activity.  Reimbursement will not be made until the Evaluation Form is submitted.  Include photos, a plan, a study, news clips and videos.  Smart Growth Grant Evaluation Form

What is the process to be disbursement of funds?

The request for reimbursement must be made within 1 year from when the application was approved.

Funds will not be distributed until an  evaluation form is submitted.

Funds will be distributed as follows:

  • Request reimbursement via
    • Submit the Smart Growth Grant Reimbursement Request Form
    • Submit the Smart Growth Grant Evaluation Form
    • Submit the ACH form with your reimbursement request. Reimbursements during COVID-19 will be made via electronic transfer.
      • If electronic transfer is not possible, you can request a check.  Reimbursements can only be made payable to your association or board. Please provide the name and address of your Association when submitting the reimbursement request.
    • Submit proof of how funds were spent.
      • Acceptable forms of proof include an invoice, signed contract, receipts and cancelled checks (both sides).

Can we apply for a grant outside of our territorial jurisdiction?

NAR adopted a policy that state and local REALTOR® Associations may only use advocacy resources provided by the REALTOR® Party for advocacy activity within their territorial jurisdiction as defined by NAR unless use outside the association’s territorial jurisdiction is permitted by a written agreement among or policy applicable to all affected local and state association(s) regarding such use of advocacy resources, or the association in whose jurisdiction such advocacy will occur or NAR approves. The policy allows for an association to request REALTOR® Party funds for use outside of its territorial jurisdiction, and if the association in whose jurisdiction such activity will take place objects, the funds may be provided subject to review and approval by the appropriate NAR committee(s) overseeing REALTOR® Party activities.