Better Block Guide For AssociationsA
Better Block projects are one way REALTOR® Associations can revitalize a downtown or commercial corridor. This resource provides an overview of what a Better Block is and information to plan and organize a Better Block.
Joining forces with colleagues from the local NAREB chapter and the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, Columbus REALTORS® hosted a Cost of Poverty Experience and dramatized a mock trial to highlight issues addressed by the Fair Housing Act that are still at play in their communities.
District of Columbia REALTORS® Get Legislative Results Protecting Property Owners and Housing Providers
Thanks to the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® was able to spur members to contact City Council members about two important issues affecting property owners in the Nation’s Capital. The sophisticated system of REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert texts and emails made communication swift and simple.
Using a Level 3 Housing Opportunity Grant, the Florida REALTORS® created an inspiring video to convince state legislators to fund Florida's Affordable Housing Trust Funds at the maximum levels. The association's Senior Public Policy Representative can't watch it without getting choked up.
One weekend in early November 2013, the 3,000-member Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association [HRRA] co-hosted a block party launching a plan to turn a tired commercial/ residential area into a vibrant arts district. Using a $15,000 Smart Growth Grant, HRRA helped to pay for the “Better Block Weekend” including arranging for six vacant houses within a five-block radius to have open houses and creating a pop-up REALTOR® office in an empty storefront. The support and involvement of REALTORS there helped to create the exciting vision. Over time, with continued effort, that vision will become a reality.
The 1,000-member Heartland REALTOR® Organization had its work cut out for it when the first draft of the suburban and rural district’s Unified Development Ordinance was first released. Leveraging the REALTOR® Party’s Land Use Initiative and its past relationship with the county's Planning & Development Committee Chairman, the association provided an objective review of the ordinance, which was used to draft an ordinance that preserved responsible development rights, streamlined processes and limited regulatory burdens—a win for all parties.
On June 2, 2016, the Hopkinsville Dog Park was opened by an official ribbon cutting ceremony, with plenty of dogs in attendance, ready to romp. It was all the idea of the 56-member Hopkinsville Christian & Todd County Association of REALTORS® and a Placemaking Micro-Grant from the REALTOR® Party helped make it a reality.
The working families and millennials of Las Vegas’ Sahara/Decatur neighborhood were not privy to the development opportunities, glitz and glam of The Strip. The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (GLVAR) created a three-part plan—using Smart Growth training and Action Grants to bring community and government partners together to brainstorm smart growth solutions; holding a Better Block event; and creating a marketing pack for potential developers—to elevate the livability and economic promise of the neighborhood.
With more than 47,000 members spanning roughly 70 different municipalities, the Miami Association of REALTORS® is the nation’s largest – a distinction that can be unwieldy and impractical when it comes to taking advantage of REALTOR® Party resources. A scaled-up program designed for “mega-boards,” piloted by the Miami REALTORS®, has proven to be a mega-success.
Teams of both YPNs and "Old PNs" (as they're affectionately known in Miami) came together with the University of Miami’s School of Architecture to revive a vacant lot in West Coconut Grove with a new weekly marketplace and a vibrant landmark mural celebrating the area's Bahamian immigrant culture.
With 46,000 members, the Miami Association of REALTORS® contributes significantly to the REALTOR® Party, but hadn't been able to utilize its grant programs with any efficiency of scale. But this year the association kicked off a program that better enables the large local associations to partake in all the opportunities available with maximum impact. Now, Miami is benefiting from a range of projects from dog parks to the development of a container house prototype, all with the support of the REALTOR® Party.
New Orleans REALTORS® Bring Life Back to Beloved City Landmark With “Better Block” Redevelopment Project
When thousands of REALTORS® descended on the Crescent City for NAR’s Annual Conference in November this year, the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® decided to show them how a Better Block redevelopment project can make a difference in the still-recovering city. In an event featuring music, art and plenty of fun, the 4,400-member association showcased how they put a Smart Growth Grant to work to give hope to the desolate block that is home to the historic Dew Drop Inn. The event served as a kick-start for fundraising to revive the 70-year-old night club and hotel.
In the city of Soldotna in Southcentral Alaska, dogs are having their day in a spacious new dog park. With the help of a Placemaking Grant and a lot of elbow grease, volunteers from the Kenai Peninsula Association worked alongside the Rotary Club and Parks and Rec Department to build a large shelter, with benches, for dogs and owners alike.
Despite what you've heard about teaching old dogs new tricks, the century-old REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley (RAPV) has taken to the REALTOR® Party's Placemaking initiative like a puppy to a fetch-stick. After learning about The REALTOR® Party’s Placemaking Grant, the 1,650-member association came up with ideas to help transform neglected public spaces into vibrant community gathering places.
REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Grant for Better Block Event Leads to Five-Year Span of Investment from the City of South Bend
Seven years ago, the South Bend Area REALTORS® partnered with local organizations and businesses to create a Better Block event along a forlorn stretch of roadway on the edge of town. Their vision prompted the city to invest millions of dollars over the course of next five years, improving the streetscape and elevating the community.
With a Smart Growth Action Grant, money of their own, elbow grease and lots of enthusiasm, the South East Iowa Regional Board of REALTORS® partnered with the Better Block Foundation and other community leaders to host the Main Street Ottumwa Better Block Party, October 12-15. “Overnight, our quiet and struggling downtown commercial area became a place to come together to shop, to eat, to play games, to enjoy some music, and even dance!” The next steps are to transform what they learned from the weekend event into lasting improvements for Ottumwa’s downtown commercial area.
When the police department lacked funding to purchase hi-definition security cameras to help combat crime, the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® came to the rescue. Working with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, the 4,000-member association used a Game Changer Grant to help increase safety and improve property values in their city.
The 495-member Greater South Bend-Mishawaka Association of REALTORS® took the lead in breathing new life into a largely Hispanic local neighborhood. With a Smart Growth Grant, funds of its own, and lots of community engagement, they hosted a Better Block Weekend last October that transformed an under-used area into a new streetscape with bike lanes, wider sidewalks, landscaping and lighting.
With Better Block Event, Longleaf Pine REALTORS® Demonstrate Just How Pedestrian-Friendly Haymount Can Be
Within Fayetteville, North Carolina, the Haymount district is blessed with neat neighborhoods of cottage-style homes and proximity to downtown, but its commercial district is cursed by an environment that is distinctly unfriendly to pedestrians. Armed with a vision, a Smart Growth Action Grant, and a whole lot of duct tape, the local Longleaf Pine REALTORS® set out to change that.