June is National Homeownership Month
National Homeownership Month is a time to share stories of lifechanging journeys and further our fight to increase access to homeownership for future generations. As part of our monthlong celebration, NAR has partnered with the American Property Owners Alliance to promote a number of our shared priorities and policies. And, as the U.S. observes both Homeownership and Pride Month in June, we’ve also kicked off a new partnership with the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.
By the Numbers
Millennials accounted for 50% of all U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loans in 2020. These loans require no down payment, freeing up tens of thousands of dollars that would normally be needed to cover closing costs. And it’s not just millennial vets and active duty service members who are buying, either. The VA authorized more than one million loans last year for the first time in its history, while overall loan volume doubled from 2019 to 2020.
Despite higher prices, waived contingencies, and an exceedingly competitive housing market, more than 70% of those who have bought a house over the past 12 months report being satisfied with their decision to move, according to an extensive new realtor.com® survey. More than two-thirds of buyers who purchased during the pandemic also say they’re happy in their new house.
Median home prices increased in 75% of opportunity zones in the first quarter of 2021, as the gains enjoyed by the broader U.S. housing market spilled into these historically undercapitalized areas. Opportunity zones were created by Congress in 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income neighborhoods. NAR continues its fight in Washington to protect the opportunity zone designation and stress to lawmakers the benefits it offers to both disadvantaged communities and our nation’s overall economy.
NAR recently announced a new partnership with the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, a nonprofit organization that promotes homeownership and advocates for greater equality in housing. The LGBTQ community is estimated to hold $1 trillion in potential buying power in the housing market, but much of that spending power has not yet been fully unlocked. NAR and The Alliance will partner to cultivate LGBTQ leaders and advocate for policies that support this growing segment of home buyers.
The REALTOR® Party At Work
Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are cataloged in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.
Housing Opportunity Grants Decrease Barriers to Homeownership
Housing Opportunity Grants from the REALTOR® Party have helped state and local associations address the persistent gaps in homeownership rates we see throughout the country. The Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® secured one such grant to sponsor ‘Housing Our Future,’ a virtual, four-part regional web summit held for housing practitioners. The effort paid big dividends for the region, increasing the community’s understanding of existing housing conditions, helping policymakers identify regulatory barriers, and furthering the work being done in the public and private sectors to develop affordable housing solutions.
Grant and Call for Action Put Focus on Access, Affordability in Central Oregon
Nestled in one of the more idyllic corners of the country, Bend, Ore., has been attracting new residents at the rate of about 12 per day, worsening the region’s already considerable housing affordability problems. A Housing Opportunity Grant from the REALTOR® Party allowed the Central Oregon Association to launch a regional housing consortium, Housing for All. Using proven, compelling storytelling tactics, the campaign will provide elected officials and policymakers with actionable data and critical community support as they work to increase local opportunities for homeownership.
Maryland Legislative Wins the Result of Advocacy, Engagement, and Support from the REALTOR® Party
The Maryland REALTORS® took advantage of two Issues Mobilization Grants to address housing supply and opportunity across the Old Line State. The association used the funds for a new website, database, and publicity campaign. These efforts resulted in the passage of two critical, statewide laws: one that creates homebuyer savings accounts and another that will implement a work group on minority homeownership. The initiative, ‘Open Doors to Stronger Neighborhoods,’ has kept Maryland’s residents engaged in critical community issues while the association continues to emphasize housing affordability in Annapolis.
Resources & Opportunities
Community Outreach Idea Exchange Webinar
“Make the Case for Affordability,” June 23 at 2 p.m. Eastern, is a webinar that will give REALTOR® associations ideas on how to leverage the Housing Opportunity and Consumer Advocacy Outreach grants to develop compelling consumer awareness and education campaigns regarding housing affordability.
Learn more and register here
Grants Address Broadband, Zoning, and More
A new Rural Outreach Grant is now available to fund advocacy initiatives related to broadband, open space preservation, infrastructure challenges, and more. Associations can explore a newly revised Rural Outreach site for detailed information on rural issues and select a time to meet virtually with staff to evaluate strategies for addressing challenges unique to rural communities.
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Interactive REALTOR® Party Resource Guide
Get the latest updates and information on advocacy grants, programs, resources, and educational opportunities with the Interactive REALTOR® Party Resource Guide. A new design, dynamic search functions, and integrated Realtor Party Tracker data offer a complete view of the REALTOR® Party at work in communities nationwide. Bookmark this invaluable online resource today.
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