Land Use Reports

Land Use Reports

Quarterly Reports

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A total of 15 requests were processed and approved during the 1st quarter of 2019. A noteworthy trend, no requests for review of local short-term rental regulations. This is notable because in the first quarter of 2018, there were nine requests for this issue. Environmental related issues came up in Sandwich, Massachusetts with proposed beachfront regulations. And in Birmingham, AL a storm water management ordinance was reviewed. Several requests were made by state REALTOR® associations for example, land bank legislation in Nevada, housing transfer agreements in New Jersey, solar systems and restrictive covenants in Delaware.

Key Highlights
In Somerville, MA, located northwest of Boston, a “Condominium Conversion” ordinance was introduced that would significantly alter the rules regarding condo conversions and specific tenant notifications, tenant or city ability to purchase, relocation costs, and obligations of a landlord to find comparable housing for elderly, disabled, or low/moderate income tenants. The analysis provided by Robinson & Cole focused on the provisions that would make condo conversions unreasonably difficult, if not infeasible (ii) vagueness of a Review Board’s authority to deny or impose conversion permits (iii) tenant notice and relocation requirements (iv) the unintended consequence of discouraging the production of rental housing and (v) a flat fee for relocation benefits.

Two projects of note
Land Installment Contracts in Youngstown, Ohio: What is a land installment contract? A company (vendor) retains title to property as security for buyer’s (vendee) obligation. A vendor is defined as “any individual, partnership, corporation, association, trust or any other group of individuals however organized making a sale of property by means of a land installment contract.” The Youngstown Columbiana Association of REALTORS® is working with the City to change the ordinance that has been termed “predatory.” Companies offer land installment contracts to people as an alternative to traditional financing (bank, credit union, mortgage company). Once the agreement is in place, the company retains all property rights while the buyer has to make all payments, property improvements, etc. with vague protections and high risk of default.

Right to Survive Ordinance in Denver, Colorado: Ballot measure would create an ordinance that would establish rights for all people in public spaces. While the initiative is intended to address homelessness it does not take into account the root causes of homelessness. The ballot measure would establish five “rights” to rest and shelter in public spaces for all people whether or not they are homeless or visiting the city. The analysis provided by Robinson & Cole focused on the challenges and applications of the proposed measure.

Key Highlights:

A total of 13 requests were processed and approved during the 4th quarter of 2018. Short-term rental type regulations continue to be a top issue reviewed under the LUI. Other issues that were consistent are zoning regulations that enable property inspections. For example, in Greensboro, NC, the city is looking to reduce blight by inspections whereas San Antonio is seeking additional authority for inspections of Senior Housing. Inclusionary Zoning measures were introduced in two cities New Orleans and Longmont, CO. A Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) proposal was reviewed from Rochester, MN.

Key Highlights

Inclusionary Zoning (IZ): Generally there are two approaches to inclusionary zoning laws: mandatory or voluntary. If IZ is required for new development there are certain specifications that a project must follow to provide affordable housing units although there may be a fee-in-lieu or off site development of the affordable units. If IZ is voluntary, developers are incentivized to build affordable units by offering a density bonus, flexibility in zoning restrictions (such as reduced parking or setback requirements), fee waivers, exemptions, favorable real estate tax treatment, favorable financing terms, and/or expedited permit review.

  • Louisiana: In May 2018, Governor Edwards vetoed SB 462 which would have preempted locals from adopting mandatory IZ measures. The Governor’s veto occurred because no municipality has adopted mandatory IZ but the Governor said “if local governments in LA do not pursue” IZ policies, he may sign similar preemption legislation in 2019. In essence encouraging locals to utilize this type of affordable housing development tool.
  • New Orleans: In an effort to avoid preemption, NOLA released a set of proposed mandatory IZ programs in Oct. 2018. The LUI analysis highlighted several factors. The mandatory nature of the proposals were not offset by any incentives to the affected developers which would likely have to pass the costs to buyers of market rate units. If market factors do not allow for an increase in costs, developers may be forced to reduce the amount of land costs, reduce quality of housing product, build elsewhere, or not build at all. The LUI analysis raised additional concerns and the need of the City to provide a thorough analysis of the economics of the local housing market. The analysis referenced an empirical study of affordable housing mandates in California, that concluded (i) “from an overall production standpoint, IZ has not been effective” (ii) “IZ translates into significant higher prices for market-rate homebuyers” and (iii) in addition to increasing prices, IZ leads to a decrease in new housing.”

Transit Oriented Development: The City of Rochester introduced a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) ordinance to link private land use and public transportation. This is in response to “community growth issues” such as encouraging land use patterns that support cost-effective transit, reduce need for high cost road improvements to alleviate traffic congestions, denser development to grow tax base and increase revenues, and development patterns that are energy efficient with reduced climate impact. The proposal consisted of transit corridors/walkable districts with sites of dense mixed use development. TOD ordinances include form-based code development regulations which move land code from designated uses to building form. The Rochester proposal would expand the uses in the TOD District, impose minimum and maximum setback requirements, and establish neighborhood protection standards. The proposed height bonus and mixed use development were recommended for the association’s support. However, the proposed City review process for larger lot development projects (10 acres or more) would have to undergo additional scrutiny so the LUI recommended areas to improve the ordinance for long-term success and implementation of the TOD ordinance.

Blighted Areas/Property Inspections: In Greensboro, NC the City introduced amendments to the housing code that would expand the City’s authority to inspect residential dwellings targeting “blighted areas.” The City’s proposal to designate areas of blight may cause unnecessary harm to properties that are not vacant or blighted which would negatively impact property values and may harm residents in close proximity to “blight” even if their property is maintained. The association was advised to resolve ambiguities of the “blighted areas” prior to adopting the law. The proposed amendments also indicated that the “top ten percent of properties with crime or disorder problems” obtain a permit from the City. Landlords with tenants associated with crime or disorder would be required to evict a tenant-which raises concerns under the federal Fair Housing Act. Finally, the proposal places policing and enforcing the law on rental property owners rather than the City because of the responsibility for conduct that takes place on rental properties. The LUI guided the association in requesting further consideration by the City before implementing the law.

For an in-depth review of these proposals see, Land Use Memo Database.

Key Highlights:

A total of ten requests were processed during the months of July through September.

  • Three jurisdictions proposed short-term rental regulations (State of Nevada; City of Salem, MA; Summit County, CO). The NV regulation came from the State Fire Marshal. Within the proposal, newer building codes were being considered. This included vague language that any short-term rental could be classified as a “lodging house.” The potential change in classification of short-term rentals would enable local governments to impose mandatory inspection or permit requirements.
  • NOTE: Keep an eye out for additional resources on short-term rentals that will be released before Annual: advocacy tips and a compilation of state laws on taxation and regulations.
  • Two jurisdictions proposed regulations regarding stormwater management (Greenville County, SC and City of Fort Worth, TX). In Fort Worth, the city is considering a floodplain policy that would change the city’s stormwater development review process. Flood hazard areas are identified through the city’s drainage criteria manual not Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mapped floodplains. Initial feedback suggests the areas identified will involve more uncertainty and less precision identifying flood risks than the approach used under FEMA’s NFIP program. This proposal is in the early stages and the Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS® has a seat on the Advisory Committee. Concerns discussed are: potential adverse impact on property values, application of development standards, potential increases to flood insurance premiums, seller disclosures, impact on city resources, confusion for lenders, etc. The City appears to be very open about the process and consistently communicating with community members and stakeholders.
  • In Colorado, ballot initiative #108 proposes to amend the Takings Clause of the Colorado Constitution to require that “just compensation” be paid when private property is “reduced in fair market value by government law or regulation.” Initiative #108 is in response to ballot initiative #97 which proposes a statutory change to the setback requirements for new oil and gas development from 500 feet to 2,500 feet. Ballot #97 is spearheaded by environmental groups whereas ballot #108 is backed by the CO Farm Bureau and the oil and gas industry. If ballot measure #108 were to pass, it would apply to all government laws and regulations without exception for laws or regulations enacted for the protection of public health. Further, ballot #108 would add six words to the CO Constitution raising several questions as to how it would be implemented. The CO Municipal League Executive Director said, if initiative #108 passes, “my advice to counties and municipalities, don’t do anything – no zoning, no ordinances.” This is a huge red flag for the potential cost to cities (i.e. taxpayers) to defend lawsuits if initiative #108 were to pass.

Key Highlights:

A total of fourteen requests were processed during the months of April through June. There were a mix of proposed ordinance issue areas: short-term rentals, vacant properties, comprehensive plans, to name a few.

  • Three jurisdictions proposed short-term rental regulations (Indian Harbour Beach, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; State of Massachusetts). In Massachusetts, a piece of legislation (H.4327) passed the House that included a liability insurance mandate for hosting platforms of short-term rentals. The hosting platform definition could include real estate brokerages, particularly if they offer online bookings for short-term rentals. Further, the legislation included a requirement that hosts make short-term rental records available to the MA Dept. of Revenue. In addition, the bill included significant restrictions: limiting the number of days hosts can rent units, a requirement for hosts to obtain a business license and only units owned by primary residents to offer short-term rentals. A stripped down version (S.2400) passed the Senate. A conference committee formed to work out the differences.
  • Two jurisdictions proposed vacant property type ordinances (Oakland, California and Cleveland Heights, Ohio). The City of Oakland proposed a vacant property tax on property that is not in active use for at least 50 days per year. The tax rates ranged from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on property type. The taxes collected would be deposited in a vacant property tax fund to provide services and programs to homeless people and support affordable housing. The other city, Cleveland Heights, proposed a measure that would require a cash bond of at least $15,000 when the property is in foreclosure. The purpose of the bond is to secure continued maintenance of the property during its vacancy. Robinson & Cole recommended that the REALTOR® Association discuss the ramifications of the bond requirement for the borrower and how financial institutions recover costs and/or fees from foreclosures so the bond requirement would place additional financial burdens on property owners.
  • Local governments in historical or unique areas use design standards to ensure consistency in the look of homes or buildings within the community. A city in Illinois (Oak Park) proposed design standards in response to resident complaints about newly constructed homes that are “out of character” with the existing homes. The proposal included specific compatibility standards for new roofs, dormers, upper-story additions, windows and siding. In general, there are pros and cons to design review. If carefully implemented in an area it can enhance property values. On the other hand, design standards can be costly and may exclude affordable housing development that cannot comply with the standards.

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Key Highlights:

Twenty requests were processed during the first three months of 2018. Of the requests, 55 percent were related to rental regulations, primarily short-term/vacation rental regulations.

  • Short-term rental (STR) regulations include rental registries and/or specific zoning areas where STRs may be permitted or prohibited. Of significant note, two communities proposed registration fees that were unreasonably higher than other jurisdictions, $1000 in Orange Beach, Alabama and $904 in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Presumably, the high fees are an effort to deter property owners from renting units on a short-term basis. Typically these fees range from $100-$250. The Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® was able to reduce the $1000 fee to $500. Further, there are two pending ballot measures in California that would ban STRs. NAR’s Issues Mobilization is also involved with efforts to prevent the STR ban in Palm Springs and South Tahoe.
  • Affordable housing regulations were introduced in Telluride, Colorado. The average sales price for a townhouse/condo is over $1.1 million. Within the affordable housing package, a proposed housing mitigation fee for residential development would increase from 60 percent to 90 percent. While keeping the commercial mitigation rate at 40 percent. Housing mitigation rates are comparable to impact fees, the mitigation percentage determines the fee amount based off the new development project’s size/square footage. While the Telluride Association of REALTORS® recognize the need for affordable housing, the calculation of the mitigation fee is arbitrary, ultimately serving as a punitive measure to residential development. Not only could this proposal deter residential development in Telluride but drive it to other communities with significantly lower impact fees.
  • A Formula Business Ordinance (FBO) proposed by the City of Holmes Beach, Florida was reviewed for the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee. FBOs have come up in other communities as an effort to protect the unique character of a community and local small to medium business owners. FBOs generally seek to prohibit group or chain stores from dominating the market. The Holmes Beach proposal is notable for two reasons: (i) FBO was targeted for a specific commercial zone rather than a broad FBO applicable to all land use zones that have been proposed in other communities and (ii) an unintended consequence would have banned real estate companies with more than 11 offices in the world, such as Keller Williams. The Sarasota REALTORS® were able to amend the adopted ordinance to specifically exclude real estate franchises from the FBO, which is considered a huge win for the association.
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Miami REALTORS® Celebrate Mega Success with Mega-Grant Program Pilot

With more than 46,000 primary members spanning over multiple counties and municipalities, the Miami Association of REALTORS® is the nation’s largest local REALTOR® association – a distinction that can present unique challenges when it comes to applying for the REALTOR® Party grants one-by-one. To accommodate certain economies of scale required by organizations this size, the REALTOR® Party devised a scaled-up program for “mega-boards;” over the past three years, Miami has used its lump sum of just over $260,000 to complete 29 projects with 58 unique events to make a mega-success of the pilot program, with positive impact apparent all over South Florida.

Danielle Blake, Miami’s Chief of Public Policy, says the concept has had a profound effect on the REALTORS®’ relationship with elected officials.  “It’s the perfect program for any Government Affairs Director (GAD).  It allows us to approach elected officials and government staff with a positive message and resources to improve communities.  Before I felt like we were always on the defense in opposing ordinances.  The best part is this allows us to have an ongoing dialogue with a city knowing we have the funding to back up the ideas that come out of it.”

In the span of three years, the implementation of those ideas has involved approximately 21,940 REALTOR® members and ranged from fairly simple ribbon-cutting ceremonies to deeply complex projects like the development of a prototypical container-housing on a plot of county-donated land.  In between, there have been events strengthening partnerships with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), and Chapman Partnership, an organization serving the homeless. REALTORS® hosted one conference to explore zoning changes to mitigate climate change, and another on condo financing.  In 13 different neighborhoods, they have supported projects from cross-community trails to community gardens to Better Block events; built dog-parks and hydration-stations, and a market plaza for local entrepreneurs that celebrates Bahamian culture.

Several innovative projects could serve as models in other communities around the country, notes Jessica Mendez, Miami REALTORS®’ Manager of Community Initiatives.  “One neighborhood we’d already been working with was so excited about the partnership that they approached us to create a Sensory Garden to appeal especially to people on the autism spectrum.  The project happened to coincide with Autism Awareness Month, and it inspired us to create special programming for our members that addresses the needs of clients affected by the disorder.  We had experts come in and explain all the various terms and acronyms, services available, and particular housing needs — like proximity to those services.”  The understanding that participants gained from this class sets them apart in terms of the expertise they can now offer their clients, she notes.

Another great success has been the Miami Shores Plaza 98 project, says Mendez.  This community gathering space is actually a busy public roadway during the week, but every first Saturday night during Miami’s cooler months, it becomes a major community pedestrian attraction, with a colorfully painted asphalt, outdoor furniture built by REALTOR® members, and themed programming from “Movie Night Under the Stars” to “BBQ & Brews.”  “Using the Mega-Grant, we were able to help plan the project with the community, funded and built the furniture, and signed on as a sponsor of the first annual event series,” explains Mendez.  “But the idea is, now that they have their ducks in a row, the community is responsible for sustaining this new asset.  We believe projects like this one could be replicable just about anywhere.”

To learn more about how the Miami REALTORS® have harnessed the power of REALTOR® Party resources and their own culture of volunteer man-power to improve their communities, contact Danielle Blake, Chief of Public Policy, at 305-468-7015; or Jessica Mendez, Manager of Community Initiatives, at 305-468-7074.

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Community Planning Grant Evaluation: Opportunity Zones

Self-Evaluation Form

Self-evaluation form must be submitted with request for reimbursement.

As part of our ongoing effort to monitor and improve the effectiveness of our grant program, we ask that you complete this evaluation and return it within 30 days. Please note that failure to return this form in a timely manner will prohibit your association from being awarded future grants.

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Community Planning Grant: Opportunity Zones

2019 Theme: Helping Your Community Make the Most of Opportunity Zones

The Opportunity Zone Community Planning Grant is designed to support association and commercial overlay board efforts to work with public officials and other community leaders exploring ways for your community to make the most of Qualified Opportunity Zones in their Advocacy Territorial Jurisdiction. Thirty grants will be awarded in 2019 for up to $5,000. Application deadline EXTENDED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30, 2019. Awardees must seek reimbursement from NAR by December 15, 2019.

Questions? Contact Hugh Morris at 202-383-1278.

Grant Specifications & Requirements

Grant may be used to fund:

  • Content/speakers (including honorarium and travel)
  • Materials
  • Tours of Opportunity Zones in your Advocacy Territorial Jurisdiction
  • No more than $1,000 of the grant may be used for food and beverage
  • No more than $1,000 of the grant may be used for a venue

Grant may not be used to fund marketing of Opportunity Zones.

Grant Rules:

  • Events, efforts, and targeted Opportunity Zones must be completed within the Advocacy Territorial Jurisdiction of your association
  • Your effort should have at least two other partners, one of which may be an adjoining local association or commercial overlay board
  • Your effort should have at least one other financially contributing partner
  • Must hold activity and submit for reimbursement on or before December 15, 2019

Grant Reimbursement

OPPORTUNITY ZONE COMMUNITY PLANNING GRANT REIMBURSEMENT FORM
OPPORTUNITY ZONE COMMUNITY PLANNING GRANT EVALUATION FORM

Grants are paid on a reimbursement basis. To receive reimbursement, submit a PDF containing :

    1. A cover sheet listing each expense (vendor and amount) with total at the bottom. All expense documentation should be provided in the same order as listed on cover sheet
    2. Invoices, contracts signed by both parties, receipts
    3. The agenda of your event
    4.  Submission of a completed grant evaluation form

Reimbursements should be emailed to Hugh Morris.

To get the the conversation started within your association and among your partners consider the following:

  • What kind of development does the community need?
  • Is the proper zoning in place?
  • What will the public space look like?
  • Discussion of the public areas within the Opportunity Zone(s).
  • New zoning for the Opportunity Zone to encourage high density/mixed-use development.
  • Discussion of housing (affordable and otherwise) with the Opportunity Zone(s).
  • Discussion of displacement of existing residents/gentrification.
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Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association Keeps Redundant, Burdensome Zoning at Bay

In the last three years, more than 45 municipalities across Florida have modified their vacation rental ordinances to be more restrictive. In Cape Coral, a seasonal residence for many homeowners, REALTORS® aided by a Land Use Initiative led a successful charge to keep additional restrictions off the books.

The rush to update ordinances covering vacation rental issues is explained by Chris Lopez, Public Policy Director of the 7,300-member Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association, which serves two counties along the Gulf Coast:  “It became evident several years ago that there was a big gap in ordinances dealing with the technology that brought us all the on-line booking platforms. The instinct seems to be to create a whole raft of new ordinances addressing the perceived ‘threat,’ rather than investigating the suitability of what already exists in local code. City Councils also reflexively jump on the ‘gap’ as a funding opportunity, where they could impose registration fees, fines for violations, and collect business and rental taxes on these properties. Our goal has been to minimize this excessive government involvement.”

Faced with a proposed new set of such ordinances, the Royal Palm Coast REALTORS® applied for a Land Use Initiative review by NAR consultants. “It’s always my first step, in cases like this,” says Lopez, noting that, “if we can use this legal expertise in early conversations with city leaders, we may be able to head-off expensive efforts for both sides down the road. Having the national and state framework that NAR consultants provided was extremely persuasive in these meetings, and in workshop settings when we seek to re-draft legislation, and in support of our testimony during public hearings. It’s a powerful ace-up-the-sleeve.”

The REALTORS®’ strongest objection to the Cape Coral proposal was that most of the concerns it attempted to address were already covered by existing city ordinances. “We have regulations regarding noise. We have rules about parking, and trash collection, and property upkeep. All these issues can be effectively managed with a call to the police. There is simply no need to duplicate the legislation by adding a redundant layer just for vacation homes.” Beyond that, the economic burden that the new rules would impose on affected property owners and businesses could be onerous. After a good faith effort at workshopping the proposed Cape Coral ordinance with city staff and a like-minded coalition of organizations, including Airbnb and the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association, the REALTORS® found that they still could not support the resulting compromise language.

At that point, reports Lopez, they mobilized REALTOR® members and the general public with a mailing. “At the second public hearing on the ordinance, we filled the room with business people, REALTORS®, and homeowners, many of whom voiced their fears that these overly restrictive measures would affect their ability to live and do business in Cape Coral.”  There was no one to speak in favor of the proposed ordinance, and the City Council was forced to concede that the protections in place were adequate, if no one wanted them changed. “It was a pretty great victory,” admits Lopez: “going in to the hearing, the outcome was a toss-up. After our people had their say, all seven Council members and the Mayor had come around to our way of thinking.”

“I can’t speak highly enough about the service that Robinson & Cole provides,” he adds. “These collective resources of the REALTOR® Party that can be called into play when high stakes are on the table are so important, and form a critical part of our ongoing advocacy. We keep a constant eye on local municipal agendas, and work hard at maintaining strong relationships with our civic leaders, so we’re able to be fully engaged and keep finding good solutions for our communities.

To learn more about how the Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association is keeping a vigilant eye on short-term rental ordinances and other legislation of concern to Southwest Florida property owners, contact Public Policy Director Chris Lopez at 239-936-3537.

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EAH Class Resources for Sponsors

Here are all of the materials you will need to manage and promote the EAH class. You will need to download the student manual files and make copies for each student. After the class you are required to send a copy of the class roster and evaluation forms to NAR.

Student Materials

Print out a copy of each file and make a copy for each student attending the EAH class. There are four module files in addition to the Overview, Glossary and Tools & Resources files. You may want to bind the materials or organize the files in a three-ring binder. The pages are designed to be printed on two sides.

Optional Materials

In addition, there are optional materials you may want to print.

  • PowerPoint Slides – student hand-out of slides with area to take notes. Some students have requested larger icons than the ones in the Manual.
  • Role Plays – students may have time to conduct a role play in the class or in a follow-up session. Ask the instructor if they plan on conducting additional role plays.

Class Management

Sponsors need to send a copy of the class roster and evaluation forms to NAR.

  • Class Roster** – You can use our form or your form.  However, if the student is a member, we need to NRDs number to add them as attending the class.
  • Evaluation Form** – These forms need to be distributed to those attending the class so NAR can evaluate the class and make changes. These forms need to be sent to NAR after the class.
  • Sponsor’s Guide – this guide contains all the information on sponsoring and holding an EAH class.
  • Student Certificate – enter the student’s name and print out for each student.

** Note: These forms need to be sent to NAR for processing.

CE Credit Materials:  You may want to submit the EAH Class for CE credit in your state. Most states require a copy of the class outline and some require a test.  If you need any other materials, please email eah@realtors.org.

Class Promotion

You can use these materials to promote and market the EAH class.

  • Ad – customize this one-page pdf document with your contact information and/or EAH class date. You can publish the ad, a high resolution file, in a print publication. To edit the file, you need Adobe Acrobat (Standard, Pro, or Pro Extended), or a third-party application such as OpenOffice.org.
  • Flyer – customize this one-page pdf document with your contact information and/or EAH Class date. You can email the flyer, post it on your website, or distribute it at events and meetings. To edit the file, you need Adobe Acrobat (Standard, Pro, or Pro Extended), or a third-party application such as OpenOffice.org.
  • Press Release – a “fill-in-the-blanks” press release designed to gain publicity for the EAH class.

For more information, e-mail eah@realtors.org or call 202-383-1157.

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Community Outreach Webinars

Housing Opportunity Webinars

In partnership with National Housing Conference (NHC), Housing Opportunity webinars are designed to educate the REALTORS®  about affordable housing issues, policies and programs, and to help REALTORS® be better able to engage in the affordable housing issues in their communities.

Questions? Contact Wendy Penn at 202-383-7504.

Paycheck to Paycheck 2015
This free webinar demonstration of the National Housing Conference’s online, interactive Paycheck to Paycheck database. Paycheck to Paycheck uses data from the first quarter of 2015 to examine the gap between wages and the housing costs, both rental and ownership, in 208 U.S. metro areas. The webinar will also include a discussion of key findings from the 2015 Paycheck to Paycheck report, which focused on the housing affordability challenges of workers in occupations commonly filled by millennials. 

Back to School: Making the Link Between Housing and Education
This webinar described the key links between housing and education and highlighted ways people are working to improve educational outcomes for children through housing and community development policies and programs.

Housing Counseling and Returning Home Buyers
Navigating the housing market and preparing financially for homeownership can be a daunting process, not only for those new to the housing market, but especially for previous homeowners who have experienced a foreclosure or were negatively affected in the housing market downtown.  Housing counseling is an effective tool to help people financially prepare to buy a home or re-enter the housing market after a foreclosure, providing advice to potential homebuyers on repairing or protecting their credit and assisting them in preparing for mortgage application, budget planning, and foreclosure prevention.

Local Affordable Housing Policymaking and Advocacy
Key affordable housing resources available from the National Housing Conference (NHC) and the Center for Housing Policy were discussed using real-world examples. Panelists discussed how these resources can be used to document and describe local affordable housing challenges, to communicate persuasively about housing needs, to identify promising local affordable housing solutions and to present affordable housing strategies to local stakeholders.

Housing and Older Adults
Experts in the area of housing and older adults presented on housing needs of the growing older adult population, livable communities policies that address the safety and quality of neighborhoods, and programs that combine housing and services to enable aging in place. 

 

Placemaking Webinars

The Placemaking Webinar Series provides more in depth information on the various types of Placemaking and how REALTORS® are involved in Placemaking activities in their communities.

Questions? Contact Holly Moskerintz at 202-383-1157.

REALTORS® Engage in Placemaking
Looking to become engaged in a placemaking project in your neighborhood but just don’t know what to do or where to begin?  Wondering what placemaking is all about and why it matters to REALTORS®? Learn how four local REALTOR® Associations used Placemaking Grants to build projects in their community. Association staff and REALTORS® will tell us about their projects; how they and their partners were engaged in the projects; and the outcomes and benefits not only to the community and REALTOR® brand. Please note that at about 49 minutes in there is an audio pause of about 1 minute.  The webinar is not over.

Make your Community a More Walkable Place
Walkable communities—a community in which residents can get to grocery stores, shops, schools, work, cafes, and parks by walking, biking or taking public transit—are becoming the latest trend in real estate. REALTORS® need to be aware of how walkable communities may affect their business and the future of real estate. Get the details on what makes a great walkable community; walkability’s impact on real estate; the demand for walkable communities; Walk Scores and MLS; and one community’s strategy to become more walkable. 

REALTORS® in Action
The Placemaking Grant has been up and running for almost two years and we have approved over $300,000 in projects in over 30 states. Many of these projects have been completed and the communities, as well as the REALTOR® Associations who have worked on these placemaking projects, are seeing outcomes. Join us to hear about the placemaking projects four local REALTOR® Associations participated in including a description of their project; involvement of the association, members and partners; and outcomes and community responses. You just may get an idea for a placemaking project in your community.

Reactivating Vacant Properties into Community Spaces
Is your community faced with blighted and vacant properties that are disrupting the neighborhood’s sense of community and lowering property values?  This webinar focuses on how to address vacant properties, specifically vacant lots.  After a brief overview of vacant properties and the negative impact on a community, you will hear from several organizations on how they are transforming vacant and abandoned lots into community open spaces and vibrant gathering places.  

Streets as Places
Streets make up more than 80 percent of the public space in our downtowns and no public space works harder than our streets.  But, streets and sidewalks need to do more than just move cars. They need to be designed to meet the needs of people and create great places where people meet, sit, socialize, relax, wander about, play and more. Find out how to transform the streets and sidewalks in your community into great places with a variety of tools including street painting, parklets, plazas, block parties, seating and other activities. 

Community Outreach Leads to Commercial Revitalization
Discover how engaging communities in downtown revitalization can lead to leasing/sales of vacant buildings and other positive impacts on commercial real estate development. Targeted efforts involving REALTOR® Associations, REALTORS® and community organizations, including how a Better Block event, a Main Street® planning approach and a tour of vacant properties have resulted in positive economic changes and are strengthening communities. 

Revitalizing with Main Street®
Main Street® is a unique economic development tool that enables communities to revitalize downtown and neighborhood business districts by leveraging local assets. This approach focuses on traditional commercial districts in a community and can help address vacant properties and other revitalization challenges. Get an overview of Main Street® and hear from REALTORS® who have initiated a Main Street® program in their communities to help revitalize their downtowns.  

How to Build a Better Block
Learn the ins and outs of a Build a Better Block project which involves a group of community stakeholders and volunteers organizing and making visible changes to a place over a day or two such as cleaning up litter, planting flowers, installing benches, and maybe launching temporary businesses called pop-ups in vacant storefronts. 

Lighter, Quicker Cheaper
Find out how to take small, incremental, low cost steps to quickly turn your community’s vision into reality and build momentum for further improvements.” Lighter Quicker Cheaper is an approach involving several small projects in a neighborhood where, taken together, will make the neighborhood a better place to live, work and play. These hands-on projects can be proposed and finished in months or weeks.

Smart Growth Webinars

Public/Private Partnerships: Complete Streets & Large-Scale Development Webinar
Private development projects and large-scale land use programs can play an important role in creating new, healthy, and equitable Complete Streets. How can developers use healthy and Complete Streets design principles and public/private partnerships to achieve community goals? And what are the opportunities and challenges public and private partners face? The Public/Private Partnerships: Complete Streets & Large-Scale Development webinar hosted by National Complete Streets Coalition and co-hosted by the National Association of REALTORS®. 

Download the PDF of the presentation

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Smart Growth is Smart Finance

On Common Ground: Spring 2019

That’s Who We Are

We're real people making a difference everywhere from neighborhoods, to our nation's capital. That's Who We R.

The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working to advance public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests and promote a vibrant business environment.

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SUCCESS STORIES

Moses Creek REALTORS® Put Out Fire Voicing Opposition to Proposed Fees for New Development

In Washington state, funding for fire safety is an unquestioned necessity. At the same time, there’s a statewide housing affordability crisis. Priorities collided when the City Council of Moses Creek proposed Fire Impact fees for all new development projects, adding a significant cost burden to much-needed new housing. With help from the REALTOR® Party, a Call for Action helped voice local opposition.
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Greater Providence REALTORS® Help Overturn New Property Tax Assessment Method

Barrington, R.I, a lovely coastal suburb of the state capital, full of higher-end homes and strong public schools, seems to have everything going for it. However, when property tax reassessments based on sale price suddenly superseded the customary three-year assessment schedule, the local REALTORS® voiced strong opposition.
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Central Oregon REALTORS® Encourage Climate-Friendly Initiatives, Not Mandates

The Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® supports of the city of Bend’s Community Climate Action Plan, but it had to draw the line at a mandatory measure that was certain to increase rising home costs even more. A robust response to a timely Call for Action helped convince the City Council to remove the word ‘required’ from the plan.
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Spokane REALTORS® Spur Much-Needed Housing Development with Pro-Growth Candidates

The inventory of available housing stock is at a historic low in Spokane, Washington, and housing prices are seeing double-digit increases. In the midst of the crisis, the Spokane REALTORS® successfully championed a challenger to the mayor’s office, as well as candidates for the City Council to spur much-needed housing development.
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Huntsville REALTORS® Get Out the Vote to Support School District Expansion Funding

Though the jobs and housing markets are booming in the northern Alabama region served by the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS®, its school district has been seriously overburdened. With help from the REALTOR® Party, the local REALTORS® backed a successful ballot initiative to pay for essential construction and renovations with a full-on get-out-the-vote campaign.
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Traverse Area REALTORS® Lay the Foundation for New Housing with Housing Summit

With a Housing Opportunity Grant, the REALTORS® serving the northern Michigan region surrounding Traverse City are collaborating with like-minded organizations to break down barriers blocking the creation of new housing, and engage the public in advocating for it.
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Northwest Arkansas REALTORS® Fight Unreasonable Residential Driveway and Garage Zoning

When the City Council of Fayetteville, Ark., proposed a zoning ordinance to restrict the width of driveways and require garage entries to be to the side or rear of a dwelling, the REALTORS® tried to reason with them. Failing that, they launched an Issues Mobilization Campaign and rallied public support to defeat the measure.
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Southeastern Oklahoma REALTORS® Create Gathering Space in Historic Downtown McAlester

On a vacant lot in downtown McAlester, Okla., an attractive new gathering place has sprung up, providing the family-oriented community with a central new green space and priming the area for additional growth and development. A perfect example of successful placemaking, it came about through a collaboration led by the REALTORS®.
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Hilton Head Area and Beaufort Jasper County REALTORS® Lead Winning School Funding Campaign

In Beaufort County, S.C., major construction, renovations, and updates were urgently needed throughout the school district, which had not had a successful bond referendum – its only source of such funding – in more than a decade. When a promising referendum made it to the ballot this year, the area’s REALTORS® stepped up to make sure it would pass.
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Coeur d’Alene REALTORS® Bring a “Storybook Trail” to Growing Community

The Coeur d’Alene REALTOR® association wanted to use one of the REALTOR® Party’s Smart Growth Action Grants to help a local community where its members live and work. Working together with the City of Rathdrum, Idaho, they planned and built a ‘Storybook Trail’ at the base of Rathdrum Mountain.
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After a Wildfire, Oroville REALTORS® Makes Smart Growth Plans to Rebuild Paradise

It’s not every day that a community can plan its own redevelopment from scratch. Following last fall’s devastating wildfire that destroyed Paradise, California, however, that’s exactly the silver lining that the town was facing. The neighboring Oroville Association of REALTORS® is taking the lead in steering the new development toward a Smart Growth way of thinking.
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North Carolina “Congressional Road Shows” Highlight Working Relationships of REALTORS® and Capitol Hill Counterparts

In four congressional districts of North Carolina, REALTORS® got rare access to their U.S. Representatives in a series of “Congressional Road Shows” hosted by their Federal Political Coordinators. REALTORS® in attendance got to hear and ask questions about issues near and dear to the industry and their communities.
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Maryland’s Coastal Association of REALTORS® Battles Restrictions on Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals are naturally a major issue in coastal communities. When Worcester County, Maryland proposed severe restrictions in its rental code overhaul, the local REALTOR® association got to work with a Land Use Initiative review and a call for action. The County Commission heard the message loud and clear, and sent its proposal back to the drawing board.
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North Carolina REALTORS®’ Advocacy Spurs New Legislation for Small Business and Association Health Care Coverage

North Carolina REALTORS® staff knew that finding adequate, affordable health insurance was a challenge for the state’s small businesses and associations; discovering that as many as 6,000 of the state’s REALTORS® were not covered lent a real sense of urgency to their advocacy efforts.
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Santa Fe REALTORS® Help Spur Re-Development of Central Urban Corridor

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.
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Delaware REALTORS® Win Legislative Victory with Advocacy and Research

REALTORS® in Delaware were unfairly subjected to business licensing fees at the municipal level, as well as by the state. Using research to determine how much revenue was at stake, the state association took the results to the legislature via Advocacy Everywhere and face-to-face advocacy. HB 235 was signed into law in July 2019, eliminating municipal licensing for REALTORS®.
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Nebraska REALTOR® Association Takes REALTOR® Party Show on the Road

REALTOR® associations of large, less populous states like Nebraska often undertake ‘road shows’ to connect with members of distant local boards. This summer, the Nebraska REALTOR® Association took the REALTOR® Party on the road to acquaint members with all its efforts, accomplishments, and opportunities, receiving warm welcomes from North Platte to Scottsbluff.
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Consumer Advocacy Outreach Program helps Seattle King County REALTORS® Share Advocacy Success

After years of stagnant condominium construction in the Seattle region, a coalition led by the Washington Association of REALTORS® was finally able to convince the state legislature to ease the legal restrictions that have discouraged development of this key “missing middle” housing. The National Association’s Consumer Advocacy Outreach Program helped the Seattle King County Association give credit where credit was due – to REALTORS®.
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New Jersey REALTORS® Combat Last-Minute Tax Threats to Property- and Business-Owners

In a last-minute scramble to balance the state budget last year, New Jersey lawmakers set their sights on two real estate tax-targets that propelled the state REALTOR® Association into action: seasonal rental properties, and homes valued at more than $1 million. Calls for action got the message out to REALTORS®, who made their feelings known to their elected officials.
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Wisconsin REALTORS® Urge State Senate to ‘Hold the Line’ on Property Taxes

With a full-on campaign called ‘Hold the Line on Property Taxes,’ the Wisconsin REALTORS® organized a powerful response to the governor’s plan to lift a freeze on municipal and country property taxes. An Issues Mobilization grant helped them convince the state senate that the move lacked tax-payer support.
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Texas REALTORS® Achieve Tax Reform for Texas Property Owners

In Texas, where there’s no state income tax or a state-levied property tax, it’s the tax bills from your county, your municipality, your school district, and various other special districts that’ll get you. Texas REALTORS® have been battling the ‘Hidden Property Tax’ inherent in the system for years, and this summer, with a boost from a sweeping Issues Mobilization campaign, the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act was signed into law.
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Miami REALTORS® Celebrate Mega Success with Mega-Grant Program Pilot

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.
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Greater Los Angeles and Southland Regional Association REALTORS® Join Forces to Defeat Parcel Tax

Fresh off a win with a highly publicized teachers’ strike earlier this year, the Los Angeles Unified School District called for a 16-cent/square foot parcel tax on all residential and commercial buildings, claiming that it would support students. But the REALTORS® of the Greater Los Angeles and the Southland Regional Associations begged to differ.
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Utah REALTORS® Think Ahead to Prevent Affordable Housing Shortage

The population of Utah is expected to double – yes, double – by the year 2040, and the state is already feeling a housing crunch. With the help of Utah REALTORS® and the support of Issues Mobilization Grants, Utah has found a way to incentivize solutions to its growing shortage rather than strong-arming municipalities with mandates.
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Washington REALTORS® Campaign for Affordable Housing Legislation

REALTORS® in Washington state knew that access to affordable housing at all income levels was being hampered by lack of inventory. Using an Issues Mobilization Grant, they’ve convinced lawmakers to tackle challenges ranging from zoning to builder-liability to spur the creation of more housing stock.
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Pacific Southwest REALTORS® Helps Create Homeless Resources Website

Using a Housing Opportunity Grant, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has sponsored the development of a website serving as a one-stop resource for those experiencing homelessness – or near-homelessness – in the San Diego area. The project honors the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.
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Advocacy Everywhere Helps DC Association of REALTORS® Keep Property Taxes at Bay

When the D.C. Association of REALTORS® learned on the eve of a budget vote that a City Council member was planning to introduce an “emergency amendment” taxing homes valued at more than $1 million, it dropped everything and called in the REALTOR® Party. A timely Call for Action got a strong message through to council members, and the proposal was shelved – for the time being.
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Lincoln REALTORS® Mobilize Voters to Support Roadway Improvements

Many of Lincoln, Nebraska’s streets were in disrepair, some to the point of impassability. Using polling services and an Issues Mobilization grant, local REALTORS® took a leading role in getting them fixed.
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Two Local Missouri Associations Help Communities Pass Much-Needed School Bonds

In the spring election season, Southeast Missouri REALTORS® and the Mark Twain Association of REALTORS® both used Issues Mobilization grants to improve neighborhoods by improving school facilities. Through energetic campaigns, they convinced the public to approve ballot initiatives that will fund major school improvements in the coming years.
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Mississippi REALTORS® Maximize Returns with RPAC Fundraising Grant

As RPAC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Mississippi REALTORS® raises the bar for RPAC investment. During its Winter Meetings this year, the small state association hosted a lively Drawdown and Lip Sync event supported by a REALTOR® Party grant — and collected more than $83,000 for RPAC.
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Charlotte REALTORS®Dive Deep into Regional State of Housing

Like so many U.S. urban centers, Charlotte, N.C., is facing an affordable housing crisis. To help housing stakeholders understand the full scope of the complex issue as it affects the whole region, the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association used a Housing Opportunity Grant to commission a State of Housing study that analyzed factors like jobs, housing supply, and affordability.
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Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association Keeps Redundant, Burdensome Zoning at Bay

In the last three years, more than 45 municipalities across Florida have modified their vacation rental ordinances to be more restrictive. In Cape Coral, a seasonal residence for many homeowners, REALTORS® aided by a Land Use Initiative led a successful charge to keep additional restrictions off the books.
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Bay East REALTORS® Mobilize on Short Notice to Fight Just-Cause Evictions

With an important rental housing regulation hanging in the balance, the Bay East Association of REALTORS® launched a REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert campaign using the Advocacy Everywhere program, mobilizing more than 175 recipients to contact the City Council in a span of less than 48 hours.With an important rental housing regulation hanging in the balance, the Bay East Association of REALTORS® launched a REALTOR® Party Mobile Alert campaign using the Advocacy Everywhere program, mobilizing more than 175 recipients to contact the City Council in a span of less than 48 hours.
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Selkirk REALTORS® Protect Quality of Life in Bonners Ferry

With a series of Smart Growth Action Grants, Selkirk REALTORS® supported a multi-year planning process for an integrated network of pedestrian and bicycle routes in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Complete with graphic branding and signage, the plan will enhance the local active transport scene for residents, and contribute to the region’s growing appeal to bike tourism.
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Mississippi REALTORS® Secure Broader Broadband Access

REALTORS® know better than anyone that expanded internet access is the only way to increase economic opportunity and connect communities in rural and underserved areas. Harnessing the power of Advocacy Everywhere, Mississippi REALTORS® rallied voters to support the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act, which finally permits electric cooperatives to provide broadband services in addition to electric power.
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Columbus REALTORS® Joined Forces to Celebrate Fair Housing

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.
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Successful Florida REALTORS® Campaign Leads to Property Tax Limits on Non-Homestead Properties

In the fourth and final phase of a ten-year effort, the Florida REALTORS® were able to secure a permanent 10% cap on non-homestead property tax through an Issues Mobilization campaign supported by the REALTOR® Party. Had the limit not been approved by voters, 700,000 Florida property owners stood to be hit by a projected $627 million increase in additional property taxes annually.
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Arizona REALTORS® Lead the Charge against a Tax on Services

A statewide campaign featuring a superhero named “PAT”, short for Protect Arizona Taxpayers, helped convince Arizona voters to amend the state constitution to prohibit sales taxes on services. Thanks to an Issues Mobilization Grant, the effort was able to achieve its goal in a single bound.
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REALTORS® Reverse FEMA Flood Insurance Suspension Within Days of Dubious Shutdown

Bringing its considerable resources, skill, and depth of knowledge to bear on FEMA’s surprising declaration that the National Flood Insurance Program would not be renewed in light of the federal shutdown, the policy team at the National Association of REALTORS® effected a swift reversal of the damaging decision.
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Local Maryland Association Takes Bold, Successful Step into Politics

This past election cycle, the Bay Area Association of REALTORS® decided it was time to take a more active role in choosing their politicians. With the help of the REALTOR® Party, it developed a savvy selection committee that interviewed dozens of candidates, endorsed several, and achieved a whopping success rate.
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Greater Greenville REALTORS® Promote “Missing Middle” Housing

Greenville, S.C., faces significant shortages of affordable housing, and the existing supply is diminishing rapidly. Using a Housing Opportunity Grant, the local REALTORS® co-hosted a Housing Forum to show policy makers how they could break down barriers to developing housing in the essential “missing middle” range.
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With Advocacy Everywhere, Illinois REALTORS® Rally Peoria Voters against New “Parcel Tax” on Property Owners

The city of Peoria, Ill., was attempting to bridge a budget gap by imposing a new tax on property owners. With help from the state association, the REALTORS® used Advocacy Everywhere to call voters’ attention to the threat, and encourage calls of opposition to the City Council. Overwhelmed by the volume, the Council agreed to a compromise.
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Hawai’i REALTORS® Improve Public Education without Property Tax Surcharges

The REALTORS® of Hawai’i want high quality public education throughout their state, which suffers from extremely high teacher-turnover. This fall, they led the charge against a ballot measure that would allow for the creation of a property tax surcharge on residential investment properties to fund the Department of Education. And then they redoubled their focus on affordable housing.
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Greensboro REALTORS® Tackle Additions to City Zoning Code

When a fatal apartment fire triggered a knee-jerk reaction from the City Council to amend the municipal zoning code, the Greensboro Regional Association of REALTORS® used the REALTOR® Party’s Land Use Initiative to commission a thorough analysis of the changes. The report informed significant changes to the language, and the REALTORS® continue to work with the lawmakers to refine and improve it.
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St. Louis REALTORS® Channel History, Community to Celebrate Fair Housing Anniversary

In St. Louis, Missouri, REALTORS® have a profound reminder of past prejudicial real estate practices in the Shelley House, the property at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case of Shelley vs. Kraemer, which gave way to the Fair Housing Act 20 years later. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of that breakthrough legislation, St. Louis REALTORS® engaged into local projects benefiting underserved communities with grants from the REALTOR® Party and Missouri REALTORS®.
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South Carolina REALTORS® Commission Analysis of Questionable Proposed Legislation

In South Carolina’s 2018 legislative session, three separate pieces of legislation raised red flags to the South Carolina REALTORS® as matters requiring close scrutiny. With the REALTOR® Party’s Land Use Initiative program, the REALTORS® requested an analysis of all three, and got the answers they needed to act and plan for the future.
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Sacramento and Pacific West REALTORS® Join Forces to Keep Rent Control off the Ballot

Two local associations in California launched “decline to sign” campaigns to prevent rent-control ballot initiatives from garnering the necessary signatures to qualify for the November 6 election. While one succeeded and the other did not, both agree that it was well worth the effort.
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Haywood REALTORS® Supports Smart Growth and Affordable Housing in Waynesville, NC

Bounded by the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and a flood plain, sprawl isn’t necessarily an option for the Town of Waynesville, North Carolina; but using a REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Action Grant, the REALTORS® of Haywood County helped to inform its 2020 Comprehensive Land Use Plan by sponsoring a public Visioning Workshop.
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TREPAC Gets a Fun-filled Boost from Dallas-area Diversity Groups

What would you pay to dunk a director of your local REALTOR® board? How about the chance to throw pies at colleagues? Five diversity organizations across the Texas real estate industry joined together to host “Fair Play for TREPAC,” a fun-filled evening that honored the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, and raised more than $6,600 for the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee.
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Post-Hurricane Harvey, Houston REALTORS® are focused on Flood Impact – and How to Keep it from Happening Again

One year to the day after Hurricane Harvey hit Harris County, Texas, citizens were called to the polls to vote on the region’s largest bond proposal ever: $2.5 billion for flood-control projects and flood mitigation. The measure passed with 85% support; the Houston REALTORS® helped get out the vote.
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Placemaking and Puppy Love Go Hand-in-Hand for Kenai Peninsula REALTORS®

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.
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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.
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Greater Nashville REALTORS® Put Placemaking Grant to Work for Pedestrian Plaza

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.
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Is Smart Growth the Key to Preserving Montana’s ‘Big Sky?’ Gallatin REALTORS® Funds Study to Find Answers.

A REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Action Grant enabled the Gallatin Association of REALTORS® to support an in-depth analysis of property tax value-per-acre in Bozeman, Montana. The resulting 3-D economic model clearly demonstrated the fiscal efficiency of concentrating growth in urban centers, rather than allowing sprawl, and will inform the development of the city’s Growth Plan.
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Prince George’s County Mounts Winning Campaigns for County Council Candidates — Times Three!

With three new REALTOR® Champions on the County Council, and a favorable relationship with the County Executive-elect, the REALTORS® of Prince George’s County, Md., can be assured that the issues that matter to them are in good hands. Three Independent Expenditure Campaign grants from the REALTOR® Party helped strengthen the odds.
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Southern Minnesota REALTORS® Jump-start Walkability in Mankato

Using REALTOR® Party resources, the REALTOR® Association of Southern Minnesota hosted a WalkShop event to determine how the revival of Mankato’s Old Town section could be even more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly. The half-day program included a walking tour with an expert consultant, and a whole lot of brainstorming.
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Laguna REALTORS® Help Seniors Age-in-Place

The seaside municipality of Laguna Beach is not the sort of place anyone likes to leave – least of all the growing number of seniors who are deeply attached to the community in which they’ve made their homes. Now, with a REALTOR® Party grant, the local REALTORS® are partnering with a community non-profit to get seniors the help they need to remain where they want to be.
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Sun Valley Board Help Veterans with a Housing Opportunity Grant

The pride that comes with having served in the armed forces makes it hard for many veterans to seek help securing and maintaining housing. “If anyone’s going to do something about their housing needs, it’s going to be the REALTORS®,” says the Executive Officer of Idaho’s Sun Valley Board of REALTORS®. But first, they have to find them.
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Maine Association Facilitates Smart Growth for Once-thriving Mill Town

To help the once-prosperous mill town of Sanford envision a future with walkable affordable housing and fresh economic contributors, the Maine Association of REALTORS® used a Smart Growth Action Grant to support a three-day charrette, in which all stakeholders had an opportunity to contribute ideas to a new downtown development.
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Palm Springs REALTORS® Defend Short-Term Rental Industry

When the thriving cottage industry of privately operated short-term vacation rental properties was threatened by a recent ballot initiative in Palm Springs, California, the REALTORS® secured an Issues Mobilization Grant. The success of their campaign to defeat the proposal was a victory for private property rights.
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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.
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Kaua`i REALTORS® Use Grant to Engage More Brokers in Advocacy

The 584-member Kaua’i Board of REALTORS® knew that the best way to involve members in advocacy and RPAC would be to show them what exactly it does for them. At the conclusion of an informative breakfast presentation supported by a Broker Involvement Program Grant, 15 brokerages gladly signed on.
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Residential Real Estate Council Invests in RPAC at Record Levels in 2017

The Residential Real Estate Council (formerly the Council of Residential Specialists) was already a powerful fundraising body for RPAC, but in 2017, its investing was supercharged; its Major Investors and President’s Circle membership went up, too.
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Boise Regional REALTORS® Boost School District with Issues Mobilization Grant

In the fastest growing region in the fastest growing state in the nation, the public school facilities could not keep up with the booming student population. An Issues Mobilization campaign helped get a $95 million bond measure approved for new schools, school expansions, and the purchase of future school sites.
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Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® Uses Diversity Grant to Commemorate Historic 50th Anniversaries

In remembering the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in their own city 50 years ago this spring, the REALTORS® of Memphis, Tenn. marched two miles to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. But that was just the beginning of a strategic plan that shines a bright light on cultural diversity, fair housing, and anti-blight initiatives.
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Thanks to Alabama REALTORS®, First-time Homebuyers Can Now Save for Down Payments and Closing Costs

Armed with polling results and economic research provided by the REALTOR® Party’s Issue Mobilization Grant and legislative language based on an existing model, Alabama REALTORS® convinced the state legislature to create a First-time and Second-chance Homebuyer Savings Account program.
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Calaveras County REALTORS® Force Repeal of High-Risk Energy Conservation Loan Program

Thanks to a timely Issues Mobilization campaign, northern California’s Calaveras County Association of REALTORS® was able to reverse authorization for a loan program that the FHA no longer insures. When it comes to financing energy conservation improvements, they stand behind more responsible, less risky options.
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Louisiana REALTORS® Defeat a Proposed Tax on Services

Every couple of years, the Louisiana legislature discusses a tax on services to help close the budget deficit, and every time, the Louisiana REALTORS® fight back to protect consumers from a huge increase in costs to get in to a new home or business property. This year, they had help from the REALTOR® Party's new Advocacy Everywhere program.
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Miami REALTORS® Create Better Block in West Coconut Grove

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.
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Cape Fear REALTORS® Top the Broker Involvement Chart with 99% Coverage

“We knew that enrollment drives response rates to Calls for Action,” said Johnson. “So, we set a goal of 50% enrollment for multi-agent offices.” Flash forward, after consistent effort, last fall CFR achieved 94% enrollment of all multi-office brokers, which covers 99% of all agent members. “We thought maintaining that level of involvement would be difficult, but by adding enrollment as part of the Designated REALTOR® Application Form, it’s been easy. We’ve had 100% enrollment with new brokers.”
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Phoenix REALTORS®’ Creativity Leads to Sweeping RPAC Investments

With more than 9,200 members, the only sure-fire way for a mega-board like the Phoenix Association of REALTORS® (PAR) to get the attention of its full membership is to tie information to its dues renewal mailing. Several years ago, PAR launched a sweepstakes to encourage investment in RPAC during the December-January dues-renewal season; three years in, the event has gained such momentum that an RPAC Fundraising Grant recently earned back more than nine-times its value in RPAC investment.
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Wisconsin REALTORS® Help Lower Property Taxes, Strengthen School Budgets, and Protect Property Rights

The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association launched two successful Issues Mobilization campaigns: the first convinced the legislature to eliminate a minor property tax dating back to the Great Depression; the other supported a new law that overturned an existing one that had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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West Central Minnesota REALTORS® Help to House the Homeless

When the regional Continuum of Care program serving the same 18 counties as Minnesota's West Central Association of REALTORS® created a more streamlined entry system to bring assistance to those in dire need of housing, the REALTORS® used a REALTOR® Party Housing Opportunity Grant to get the word out.
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Greater Boston Board Works toward Zoning Reform

Antiquated zoning and a mire of case law stands in the way of the development of housing necessary for economic growth in the Boston region. Using the REALTOR® Party's Land Use Initiative, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board is tackling the complexities of zoning reform in City Hall and at the State House.
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Partnership Spurs Diversity for the Grosse Pointe REALTORS®

In Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "The Other America" speech 50 years ago this March, the local REALTOR® board makes all its decisions through an internalized lens of diversification. Partnering with the public school system recently, the REALTORS® recently created a calendar illustrated with student visions of diversity; proceeds from calendar sales support diversity efforts in the schools.
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Creativity Help Associations Keep RPAC Investments at an All-time High

With 35% of the national membership investing in RPAC in 2017, state and local REALTOR® Associations have made RPAC stronger than ever when it comes to advancing its public policy agenda. From a strong team of volunteer leaders to technology platforms that help small associations get big results, the REALTOR® Party is getting the word out that investment matters.
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Houston Association Gathers and Shares Hurricane Harvey Recovery Resources with Multicultural Associations

Using a Diversity Initiative Grant, The Houston Association of REALTORS® put together a program for members, including the multicultural real estate associations in town, providing information on topics from mold remediation to tax relief to dealing with the emotional aftermath. Grocery story gift cards and a positive housing market outlook made the supportive event even cheerier.
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New Hampshire REALTORS® Envision Smart Growth for White Mountains

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are a popular tourist region, but affordable housing for would-be service industry staff is not meeting demand. The 150-member White Mountain Board of REALTORS® used a Smart Growth Action Grant to explore possible zoning changes that would permit higher density development—and more affordable housing.
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Telluride REALTORS® Elect Three REALTOR® Champions to Town Council

Last fall, with four seats on the Town Council up for grabs, the Telluride Association of REALTORS® (TAR) made the most of the opportunity to promote candidates who espoused the values of affordable housing; sustainable growth and development; and economic vitality and vibrancy. With an Independent Expenditure, TAR conducted a campaign that helped elect three REALTOR® Champions.
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REALTOR® PARTY MOBILE ALERT SUBSCRIBERS

219,451

COMMUNITY OUTREACH GRANTS

$1,778,000

CANDIDATES CAMPAIGNS SUPPORTED (2019)

249

RPAC MAJOR INVESTORS

8,433

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State Legislative Monitor

The State Legislative Monitor is a service designed to help association staff to identify and monitor state legislation. This database allows you to monitor legislation in your state and other states. State GADs have access the State Legislative Monitor database.

Questions? Contact Ted Wright at 202-383-1201.

Weekly Reports

Log on to view the weekly State Legislative Monitor reports.

2020

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January 9
January 16
January 23
January 30
July August September October November December

2019

January February March April May June
January 3 February 7 March 7 April 4 May 2 June 6
January 17 February 14 March 14 April 11 May 9 June 13
January 24 February 21 March 21 April 18 May 16 June 27
January 31 February 28 March 28 April 25 May 23
May 30
July August September October November December
July 11 August 1 September 5 October 10 November 7 December 5
July 18 August 15 September 12 October 14 November 14 December 12
July 25 August 22 September 19 October 24 November 21 December 19
August 29 September 26 October 31

2018

2018 State Legislative Review/Preview Report

January February March April May June
January 4 February 1 March 1 April 5 May 3 June 6
January 11 February 8 March 8 April 12 May 10 June 21
January 18 February 15 March 15 April 19 May 17 June 28
January 25 February 22 March 22 April 26 May 24
March 29 May 31
July August September October November December
July 12 August 16 September 6 October 4 November 1 December 6
July 19 August 23 September 13 October 12 November 8 December 13
July 26 August 30 September 20 October 18 November 15 December 20
September 27 October 25 November 29

 

 

 

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