NAR Celebrates National Homeownership Month in June
Washington, DC -- As the nation’s leading advocate for homeownership, the National Assn. of REALTORS® understands the value and joy of owning a home. This month, as the nation celebrates National Homeownership Month, NAR and state and local REALTOR® associations across the county will do their part to help raise awareness of homeownership and encourage more Americans to consider the benefits of owning their own home.
President George W. Bush declared June as National Homeownership Month in 2002, with the goal of increasing minority homeownership in America by 5.5 million households by the end of the decade. To help celebrate National Homeownership Month this year, NAR is providing REALTORS® with a wealth of resources and tools that support homeownership and strong communities. The information is available at www.realtor.org/homeownership.
“REALTORS® don’t just sell homes, they build communities, and we are committed to making homeownership a reality for those who strive to achieve it,” said NAR President Pat V. Combs, of Grand Rapids, MI, and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt. “NAR is encouraging local REALTOR® associations and their members to work together to plan events and get involved in activities that promote homeownership and help create stronger, more vibrant communities.”
Though homeownership has generally increased among most minorities over the past three years, there is still a disparity between ownership levels for different groups. The homeownership rate for African American households during the fourth quarter of 2006 was 48.2%, while Hispanic households were at 49.5%. The homeownership rate for Asian, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders was 60%. By comparison, 76% of non-Hispanic whites were homeowners in the same period.
NAR advances homeownership and housing opportunities for minority and first-time buyers through a number of programs. In 2002, NAR established a Housing Opportunity Program, with the mission of providing Realtors® with tools, training, grants and the information they need to promote housing opportunities in their community. The program encourages local Realtor® associations to create housing opportunity initiatives aimed directly at helping consumers gain access to affordable housing. Today, nearly 600 state and local associations have programs in place.
Through its diversity initiatives, NAR provides its members with a broad range of programs to serve people of all cultures and actively recruits and educates agents to reach out to people from all backgrounds. NAR’s “At Home with Diversity” training educates REALTORS® about being sensitive to and aggressive in meeting the homeownership needs of a diverse society. NAR also awards grants up to $5,000 twice a year to state and local REALTOR® associations to help fund diversity activities.
Homeownership strengthens communities, and NAR’s Smart Growth program helps REALTORS® make their communities even better through smart growth initiatives. These initiatives include grants for state and local REALTOR® associations as well as information and resources to help these associations and their members make important connections, influence legislation and develop partnerships in the community to encourage smart growth.