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2008-06-27 17:14:35

NAR Grants Help Increase Local Housing Opportunities

The National Assn. of REALTORS® has awarded $39,500 to 13 local and state REALTOR® Associations through the Housing Opportunity Fund grants program. The grants help support the housing opportunity efforts of local and state REALTOR® Associations.

“REALTORS® build communities and care about the lack of housing opportunities available to low- and moderate-income families,” said NAR President Dick Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif. “These grants help support NAR’s mission of advocating solutions to today’s critical housing needs and help position REALTORS® as leaders in their communities by increasing access to affordable housing and homeownership.”

NAR established the Housing Opportunity Fund − formerly the State and Local Initiatives Fund − in 2006. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded twice per year; since the program’s inception more than 77 grants totaling nearly a quarter of a million dollars have been awarded to support a wide range of housing opportunity activities.

Grants can be used for a variety of activities, including housing symposia, home buyer resources and guides, counseling services, financial literacy efforts, home buyer fairs, down payment assistance programs and public opinion surveys.

The following REALTOR® Associations were named 2008 Housing Opportunity Fund grant recipients:

Bayou Board of REALTORS® (Houma, La.): $5,000 to create an Affordable Housing Certification Program for REALTORS®.

Billings Assn. of REALTORS® (Billings, Mont.): $2,500 to support a housing summit that will focus on workforce housing issues.

Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS® (Cincinnati, Ohio): $2,000 to hold a home buyer fair and provide information and education classes to consumers on buying and owning a home.

Lake & Geauga Area Assn. of REALTORS® (Concord Township, Ohio): $3,000 to support the “On the Road to Affordable Housing” program, which creates a forum to discuss affordable housing opportunities, employer-assisted housing benefits, and assistance programs for home buyers.

Coastal Assn. of REALTORS® (Berlin, Md.): $5,000 to conduct CreditSmartTM workshops and establish a nonprofit foundation and grant program to award down payment assistance to first-time home buyers.

Iowa City Area Assn. of REALTORS® (Iowa City, Iowa): $2,500 to develop an online version of the Assn.’s successful Home Ownership Mortgage Readiness Course.

Northeast Florida Assn. of REALTORS® (Jacksonville, Fla.): $5,000 to enhance the Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME) program, which works with employers to create an employer-assisted housing benefit.

Portland Metropolitan Assn. of REALTORS® (Portland, Ore.): $3,000 to conduct a Regional Homeownership Opportunities Summit to provide information on homeownership opportunities and the region’s economic health.

Prince Georges County Assn. of REALTORS® (Landover, Md.): $2,000 to support a countywide Housing EXPO and Homeownership Initiative event.

South Dakota Assn. of REALTORS® (Pierre, S.D.): $3,000 to create an electronic infomercial promoting the state’s housing opportunities.

Stark County Assn. of REALTORS® (Canton, Ohio): $2,500 to hold a homeownership fair to increase community awareness about the area’s affordable housing opportunities.

Tucson Assn. of REALTORS® (Tucson, Ariz.): $2,000 to support a “Homeownership…The American Dream” housing summit. The goal of the summit is to foster public awareness and understanding of homeownership rights, opportunities and benefits.

Winston-Salem Regional Assn. of REALTORS® (Winston-Salem, N.C.): $2,000 to support a ReStore Spaces fundraiser to benefit a local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

For additional information on NAR’s Housing Opportunity Fund or to download an application form, visit www.realtor.org/housingopportunity. Applications for the next round of grants are due October 3, 2008.

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