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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 Applications for the next round of grants are due October 3, 2008.

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