REALTOR® Associations Honored for Outstanding Community Outreach

During the March 2017 Association Executives Institute in Denver, the National Association of REALTORS® honored six REALTOR® associations with Community Outreach Awards for their work to make their communities a better place to live and do business.

Each association made use of REALTOR® Party Community Outreach resources over the last two years to address a local challenge, develop partnerships with community stakeholders, or involve the public in a project or discussion to improve the community. 

Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, N.Y., used an NAR Housing Opportunity grant to hold a successful housing fair called Celebrate City Living (pictured above), which attracted 500 people. The association also used four NAR Smart Growth grants to sponsor a lecture series on equity in planning and hold a symposium for community design professionals on planning and transportation.

Cape Fear REALTORS®, N.C., launched two NAR Land Use Initiatives to defeat a proposed vacation rental ordinance in Kure Beach and to work with elected officials to modify a zoning change for group homes in New Hanover County. The association also received two NAR Placemaking grants to build community gardens and an NAR Smart Growth grant to hold a seminar for 165 ­people and bring together several community groups to discuss water issues.

Austin Board of REALTORS® in Texas used an NAR Diversity Initiative Grant to host a two-day conference focusing on the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ State of Housing in Black America report. The board also received NAR Housing Opportunity grants to connect homeless veterans to permanent housing, hold an event about the community’s need for small homes and townhouses, host housing fairs, and host a forum to explore the connection between housing and health. The board also took advantage of an NAR Smart Growth grant to fund a community workshop about a large development that many neighbors opposed. The workshop helped the city, developers, and neighbors reach consensus.

Richmond Association of REALTORS®, Va., received an NAR Housing Opportunity grant to support Project Homeless Connect (pictured below), an event that connects volunteers and service providers with homeless people. NAR Housing Opportunity grants were also used to educate the public on the connection between housing supply and economic prosperity and for seminars on community land trusts. The association also held two vacant-property trainings supported by NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program, and invited Richmond public officials, city staff, property owners, and housing advocates to learn about the effect that vacant properties have on communities and real estate values, and the techniques that can be used to turn these properties into community assets.

Bronx-Manhattan North Association of REALTORS®, N.Y., partnered with the local Bronx Community Board 9 on a public arts project in which local artists created a mural (pictured above) celebrating notable people from the Bronx, from hip-hop pioneers to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The mural has contributed to the success of a new pedestrian plaza adjacent to a rail transit station. Taking advantage of several NAR Smart Growth grants, the association worked with Bronx Community Board 9 to undertake long-term planning activities to change local land use and zoning.

Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS® , S.C., applied an NAR Placemaking grant to build a playground and received an NAR Smart Growth grant to support a community planning analysis by the Urban Land Institute. The association is also using an NAR Smart Growth grant to host a national expert in walkability who carried out a “walk audit” to observe and analyze the Myrtle Beach community and to make a major commercial artery more safe and welcoming for pedestrians.

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