REALTOR® Party Conference GrantI
NAR is offering grants to state associations to host their own REALTOR® Party Conference in an effort to educate members and further the mission of the REALTOR® Party. State associations may qualify to receive a minimum of $5,000 and up to $16,000 to aid in hosting an educational or fundraising conference.
Inspired by a national report on challenges faced by African Americans in the housing market, the 9,500-member Austin Board of REALTORS® formulated a plan to do something about it in their own back yard. They began by securing a Diversity Grant from NAR to host a two-day conference to which they invited a variety of local minority organizations and stakeholders...
Delaware, the second-smallest – but sixth most-densely populated – state in the nation, has a vested interest in the concept of smart growth. Leaders of the 3,000-member Delaware Association of REALTORS®, in conjunction with state government leaders began brainstorming about creating a master ‘planning book’ for the state. Then they decided to take a step back and look at an even bigger picture. They organized the Complete Communities: Delaware Summit 2012, held Nov. 13 in Dover. The Delaware Association co-sponsored the event with the state’s Department of Transportation and the Office of State Planning Coordination, and the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration. A Smart Growth Grant from NAR helped to pay for two of the featured speakers About 130 people attended the all-day conference, representing all three counties and 57 towns in Delaware.
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.
Undaunted by the forced cancellation of its annual Fair Housing Conference, the Frederick County Association of REALTORS® moved the message online in a colorful upbeat video highlighting the results of a Fair Housing Art Contest, complete with a mayoral proclamation.
With vision, elbow grease, and a Placemaking Grant, Greater Nashville REALTORS® partnered with a local civic design organization to transform a dismal traffic triangle into a cheerful, safer pedestrian refuge.
Housing Opportunity Grant Helps Bring Counselors of Real Estate to Spokane for Housing Needs Study and Action Plan
Within Washington state, which recent census data revealed to have the lowest housing inventory in the country, the numbers in Spokane were even worse. The Spokane Association of REALTORS® stepped up to bring in a consulting team from the Counselors of Real Estate, an international organization of expert volunteers who provide objective assessments and a strong set of recommendations informed by their nationwide perspective. A Housing Opportunity Grant supported the effort.
The REALTOR® Party’s Issues Mobilization Grant provides financial assistance to state and local REALTOR® Associations to support effective advocacy campaigns on public policy issues that affect REALTOR® interests. The Kansas Association of REALTORS® is just one example of how an association has used this program to successfully stave off local property tax increases.
Massachusetts has been the single most energy-efficient state in the country for the past five years. But when a bill in the state legislature threatened to require an energy audit to produce an energy score for all houses being listed for sale, the 24,000-member Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® leapt to the defense of the state’s homeowners with the help of an Issues Mobilization Grant.
In Memphis, Tenn., as in many other American cities, the urban core and older suburban neighborhoods were crisscrossed by high speed multi-lane road networks, facilitating automobile and truck traffic but completely isolating certain areas of the city. The system was contributing to related problems of neighborhood blight, poverty, obesity, and poor air quality. The 3000-member Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR,) decided to do something about it. They used a $15,000 Smart Growth Grant from NAR and worked with Smart Growth America to help Memphis become the 500th city to adopt a Complete Streets policy. Already, in downtown areas where streets have been put on "road diets," slowing the pace of traffic, increasing bike lanes, and making pedestrian activity safer; businesses along these altered roads are reporting higher activity.
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.
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.
Instead of each local association individual advocacy and consumer outreach plans, North Carolina REALTORS®, the state association, used a Game Changer Grant to create a strong single program called “NC REALTORS®: The Smart Move” to promote public understanding of the value of using a REALTOR®, and to position REALTORS® as the premier real estate advocacy resource and a key community partner.
The North Dakota Association of REALTORS® (NDAR,) joined an astonishing coalition of more than 80 groups to oppose a measure that would have abolished the state’s century-old property tax. That’s right, REALTORS® worked to “keep” the tax. Why? Because getting rid of the tax would have empowered the state legislature to replace the lost income by creating new revenue sources, over which the voting public would have virtually no say. Their “‘Keep It Local, North Dakota” used funds from the state association’s own Issues Mobilization along with a grant from NAR to pay for polling and campaign advertising, including television, radio, newspaper, and social media. They also conducted 11 news conferences and numerous debates. In the end, they won with 77 percent of the voters striking the measure down.
With the help of a Diversity Initiative Grant and training from REALTOR® Party staff, the more than 10,000-member Chicago Association of REALTORS® was able to create a diverse and inclusive environment, cultivate organizational partnerships and provide educational opportunities for its members.
Since school quality plays such a large role in home buying decisions, the Quad Cities Area REALTOR® Association decided to put their marketing and negotiation skills to work to promote their area schools. They began by inviting major employers, mayors and school superintendents in the 23-community area to a conference to have a frank discussion about diversity, inclusion and steering. The conference resulted in plans to build a robust website featuring comprehensive information on each school that will help families make informed decisions about where they want to live.
Summary: The lack of affordable housing for Los Angeles County workers is driving businesses out of state. The Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® is responding to the crisis with REALTOR® Party-funded programs like its recent “Housing Our Workers Forum,” which brought together local stakeholders and officials to discuss solutions.
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.
Santa Fe, like many communities across the country, is experiencing a serious workforce housing crunch. Using two Smart Growth Action Grants over the past ten years, the Santa Fe Association of REALTORS® is helping to spur the redevelopment of a central thoroughfare with an emphasis on form-based zoning and affordable housing.
Three North Carolina Communities Jumpstart Revitalization with Mainstreet Downtown Assessments Supported by the REALTOR® Party
Using Smart Growth grants from the REALTOR® Party, the McDowell Board of REALTORS®, the Yancey Association of REALTORS®, and the High Country Association of REALTORS®, all in western North Carolina, commissioned assessments of small town centers with an eye toward sustainable residential and commercial growth.
The Virginia Association of REALTORS® was first struck by the isolation and vulnerability of many rural regions across the Commonwealth when a string of tornados hit. So, when the non-profit organization Housing Virginia approached VAR to partner in a Rural Housing Initiative grant it had received from the USDA, the association agreed wholeheartedly. With 5 of its local associations and the use of Housing Opportunity Grants, the two organizations conducted a series of Rural Housing Forums across the state to address housing challenges particular to rural areas.