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2007-05-23 18:40:00

NAR Grants Support State and Local Diversity Initiatives

Washington, DC -- Ten local and state REALTOR® associations received Diversity Initiative Grants at the National Assn. of REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo here last week. The grants, totaling $40,450, are awarded to help fund outreach efforts to minority consumers and bring more cultural diversity into association membership and leadership.

NAR established the Diversity Initiative Grant program in 2004 to provide financial support for Realtor® association programs and activities that position them as leaders in their increasingly diverse communities. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded twice a year to local and state Realtor® associations. Since 2004, 63 grants totaling more than $195,000 have been awarded through the program. 

“REALTORS® build communities, and through the Diversity Initiative Grants program, state and local Realtor associations are better able to prepare their members to connect with and understand America’s diverse population, and ultimately earn the confidence of the home buyers and sellers they serve,” said NAR President Pat V. Combs of Grand Rapids, Mich., vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt.

The 2007 Diversity Initiative Grant award winners are:

Council of Residential Specialists, Chicago:  $5,000 to encourage diversity programming among the Council’s chapters and to broaden the educational and networking opportunities for members and students so they can better serve consumers.

Greater Tampa Assn. of REALTORS®, Tampa, FL.:  $5,000 to educate members on the fundamentals of the lending process, identify the tactics of mortgage predators and avoid predatory lending.

Kitsap County Assn. of REALTORS®, Silverdale, WA.:  $3,900 to update the association’s Web site to feature fair housing issues, host a symposium aimed at educating minorities on employment opportunities in real estate and hold a home buyer workshop.

Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®, Downers Grove, IL.:  $1,550 to work with the local fair housing advocacy agencies to develop a pocket guide that will address common questions about fair housing.

Rockford Area Assn. of REALTORS®, Rockford, IL.:  $5,000 to launch a consumer awareness campaign aimed at the community’s Hispanic home buyers and sellers.
Orange County Association of Realtors®, (Laguna Hills, Calif.):  $2,500 to support a home buyer fair targeted at the city’s growing Latino and Asian population.

Rhode Island Assn. of REALTORS®, Warwick, RI.:  $5,000 to develop an awareness campaign targeting the area’s minority populations to educate them about the dangers of predatory lending.

Santa Clara Assn. of REALTORS®, San Jose, CA.:  $2,500 to sponsor an event and invite members of minority real estate organizations to educate and prepare members to serve a diverse population of home buyers and sellers in the area.

South Broward Board of REALTORS®, Pembroke Pines, FL.:  $5,000 to cosponsor a two-day symposium with educational seminars and consumer home buying information in multiple languages.

Washington Assn. of REALTORS®, Olympia, WA.:  $5,000 to identify and engage real estate agents serving minority populations and help develop local chapters of the Asian Real Estate Assn. of America and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

While at the Midyear meetings, REALTORS® also developed new skills for working with home buyers and sellers of all backgrounds by attending NAR’s “At Home with Diversity” course.

The nine-year-old program educates REALTORS® about being sensitive to and aggressive in meeting the homeownership needs of a diverse society. The course aims to support the nation’s fair housing commitment by giving REALTORS® the tools they need to serve culturally diverse home buyers and sellers.

For additional information on the At Home with Diversity course or to download a Diversity Initiative Grant application, visit www.realtor.org/diversity. Grant applications for the next round of awards are due by October 5, 2007.

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