With the help of a Housing Opportunity Grant, the 64-member Hopkinsville Christian & Todd County Association of REALTORS® hosted a fun-filled Military Appreciation Picnic to showcase the housing opportunities in their small town. More than 700 military family members from nearby Fort Campbell attended, and Hopkinsville home sales to military families went from almost none to 7-10 per month.
The Rogue Valley Association of REALTORS® in southwestern Oregon had already raised more than $100,000 for homebuyer-assistance grants. Now it needed a way to get the word out. Radio was the answer! An NAR Housing Opportunity Grant enabled the 1,000-member association to sponsor a popular local radio show and tell listeners about area housing opportunities—many of them provided by the charitable giving of their own members.
San Diego REALTORS® Open Housing Opportunity Doors for Foreclosure Victims, Minorities and Other Under-served Populations
The Housing Opportunity Committee of the Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (GSDAR) is bringing access to the American dream of home ownership to all: one under-served population at a time. In fact, GSDAR’s exceptional Housing Opportunity efforts were honored in March in the first round of NAR’s Community Outreach Awards. From veterans and their families, to minority groups, to homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure and are attempting to re-enter the market, the San Diego REALTORS have been there to open doors to housing opportunities.
Raising awareness about the link between good schools and good communities – and how to strengthen both – was the focus of a day-long forum called “Connecting the Dots Between Where Kids Live and Where They Learn.” The 29,500-member Virginia Association of REALTORS® used a Housing Opportunity Grant to co-sponsor the day-long forum where 200 attendees explored ways to improve school performance, which in turn, increases housing desirability and values.
Santa Fe REALTORS® Produce Affordable Housing Guide as Resource for Policymakers, Housing Providers & Public
The 690-member Santa Fe Association of REALTORS® (SFAR) wanted to help the city and housing providers make wise decisions about affordable housing in their area, where pricey second homes are the norm and many workers commute from surrounding areas. Using a $5,000 Housing Opportunity Grant, SFAR produced the 2013 Affordable Housing in Santa Fe. The 48-page report presents current information about the local economy, homeownership, rental housing, homelessness, housing trends, funding, and new affordable housing programs.
Two Chicago-Area REALTOR® Associations Host Housing Expo and Trolley Tour with Housing Opportunity Grant
The City of Aurora, on the west side of Chicago, has been lauded as a highly livable city. It has a strong down-payment assistance program, and plenty of affordable housing — yet a high percentage of the employees working in Aurora commute from elsewhere. The 15,000-member Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and the 1,500-member REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley partnered with the city and local lending institutions to get the word out. They used a Housing Opportunity Grant from NAR to host a housing expo and trolley tour they called “Experience Aurora.” The positive results are already appearing!
No one ever said it would be quick or easy. But the Ada County Association of REALTORS® (ACAR) stuck to its conviction that focusing on workforce housing is good for everyone in a community. The 3,000-member association is finally beginning to see results from its years of diligent Employer Assisted Housing efforts in and around Boise, Idaho.
When the economy crashed in Gaston County, NC, it crashed hard. Unemployment grew and the housing market suffered. As conditions began to improve last year, the 270-member Gaston Association of REALTORS® decided to help the public understand the opportunities to be had in their recovering market by hosting a housing fair in the town’s brand new convention center. With the help of a $5,000 Housing Opportunity Grant from NAR, they drew nearly 500 people to the April event. Attendees visited booths of industry professionals ranging from lenders and home inspectors to landscapers and cabinet refinishers. The fair was such a hit that plans are already underway to host another one next year.
Hopkinsville-Christian & Todd County REALTORS® (KY) Showcase Homeownership as a Win-Win for Employers and Employees
Out in western Kentucky, the small but resourceful Hopkinsville-Christian and Todd County Association of REALTORS® understands that the American Dream of homeownership may be a win-win for employers and employees, but that sometimes dreams need a helping hand. Last year, the 68-member association drew 30 participants from nearby small boards to an Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) class. This year, they used a $5,000 Housing Opportunity Grant to form a team and act on what they learned. Their program, “Hopkinsville HOPE,” short for “Home Ownership for Performing Employees,” now has a web site and they are conducting workshops for local employers.
Leaders of the 125-member White Mountain Board of REALTORS® (WMBR) knew from the moment they learned about NAR’s Housing Opportunity Grants that they could put one to good use in their rural region where many jobs do not pay enough to cover housing within a reasonable commuting range. The WMBR used a $5,000 grant from NAR to host the Mount Washington Valley Workforce Housing Design Charette. The intensive design program brought together teams of planners and housing development professionals to rough out development concepts reusing and/or revitalizing existing structures, as well as developing raw acreage. Particular attention was given to how zoning regulations either work or might be modified to improve the region’s prospects for affordable workforce housing. The sessions drew 78 members of the public and 26 housing industry professionals.