During the month of May, NAR is waiving the 10% skin-in-the game requirement for Community Outreach grant applications. Also, check out a number of resources to address housing affordability and community development issues.
Community Outreach Grants – 10% Funding Requirement Waived for 2021!
REALTOR® Party Community Outreach grants and resources help state and local REALTOR association engage in addressing affordable housing challenges, community planning and development issues, revitalization opportunities, rural initiatives and fair housing education and activities. The goal of the grant program is to position REALTORS® as leaders in improving their communities through education and advocacy. Grant applications are available in easy-to-access online application forms (login required). All grants offer a level 1 (up to $1,500) and level 2 (up to $5,000). Housing Opportunity Grants offer level 3 (up to $10,000). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until October 15th. Associations may receive one grant per level each year. 10% funding requirement for associations is waived in 2021.
Support association activities that create or improve systems, programs, and policies that expand access to housing that is affordable.
- Level 1: up to $1,500 for speakers, classes and trainings.
- Level 2: Up to $5,000 for projects to address housing affordability.
- Level 3: Up to $10,000 for comprehensive, broad-based community efforts on affordability.
Supports association education, activities and initiatives that furthers the mission of Fair Housing.
- Level 1: Up to $1,500 for fair housing education and trainings.
- Level 2: Up to $5,000 to support projects and partnerships with local agencies or organizations that further the fair housing mission.
Supports association education and civic engagement related to land-use and transportation initiatives and policies that support one or more of the 10 Smart Growth Principles.
- Level 1: Up to $1,500 for classes and trainings on planning and zoning issues related to Smart Growth.
- Level 2: Up to $5,000 for activities and initiatives affecting land-use and transportation policy.
Supports association efforts to transform underutilized and underused sites into community gardens, dog parks, pocket parks and gathering areas accessible to everyone in the community.
- Level 1: Up to $1,500 for temporary and demonstration projects.
- Level 2: Up to $5,000 for projects to create new, outdoor public spaces.
Supports association education and advocacy related to a wide range of issues confronting rural communities including broadband, well/septic/sewer, open space preservation, protection overlay districts (steep slopes, setbacks), land-use, annexation and natural disaster mitigation planning.
- Level 1: Up to $1,500 for classes and trainings on rural issues.
- Level 2: Up to $5,000 to support activities and initiatives in partnership with government and organizations.
Online Coaching Sessions Offered Associations are encouraged to sign-up for a 30-minute, one-on-one, Community Outreach Coaching, via ZOOM, to brainstorm ways to address affordable housing challenges, community planning and development issues, revitalization opportunities and fair housing education beyond using a Community Outreach Grant. Includes critical steps to success for developing grant ideas and how to write a compelling application.
Housing and Neighborhood Stabilization Resources
REALTORS® and Associations have access to a resource to share with homeowners who are struggling to meet their loan obligations. The guide encourages homeowners to work with REALTORS® and housing counselors and offers guidance on options provided by lenders. Associations and REALTORS® may add their logo to the cover for a customized look. The brochure is available in English and Spanish. Visit https://realtorparty.realtor/community-outreach/housing-opportunity/resources/covid-19-consumer-guides for more information.
REALTORS® and Associations have access to a new resource to share explaining the provisions implemented by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to protect consumers’ credit scores. The guide outlines consumers’ rights under the CARES Act, explains how to obtain a free credit report, and offers guidance on how to dispute inaccurate credit information. Associations and REALTORS® can add their logo to the front cover. The brochure is available in English and Spanish. Visit https://realtorparty.realtor/community-outreach/housing-opportunity/resources/covid-19-consumer-guides for more information.
Assists REALTOR® associations with creating a Housing Stabilization Task Force to help homeowners, renters, and landlords manage the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide offers tips on organizing the task force and suggests a variety of activities the task force can consider. The guide also encourages associations to include outreach and education for potential home buyers as part of the task force’s stabilization efforts. Visit https://realtorparty.realtor/community-outreach/housing-opportunity/housing-stabilization for more information.
As communities work to recover from COVID-19, REALTORS® are stepping up and responding with solutions for housing stabilization. Several AEs and GADs participated in an idea exchange to discuss how their associations are engaging with local government and community members in stabilization and recovery efforts. Learn how the new Housing Stabilization – A Guide for Collaboration and Initiatives, Expanding Housing Opportunity – A Toolkit for REALTORS® and Associations , Housing Opportunity Grants and consumer guides to help homeowners facing financial challenges including the Protect Your Credit and Protect Your Investment resources can help with those efforts. Visit https://realtorparty.realtor/training/community-outreach/community-outreach-webinars for more information.
Hear an expert-led panel discussion on how cities are leveraging strategic partnerships to turn vacant properties into productive community assets; one block at a time. Featured experts and thought leaders included Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler, CEO, Center for Community Progress, The Honorable Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, San Antonio, and Timothy C. Twardowski, Partner, Robinson & Cole LLP. Visit https://www.conference.realtor/event/urban-roundtable-from-vacant-to-vibrant/ for more information.
A four-part webinar series that explored the roles of REALTORS® as partners with local government to prevent property vacancy and abandonment as communities develop strategies to navigate the aftermath of COVID-19.
Read the REALTOR® Magazine coverage:
- NAR's New Webinar Series Focuses on Preventing Vacant, Abandoned Properties;
- What History Can Tell Us About Commercial Vacancies;
- Enforcing Building Codes Can Prevent and Reduce Vacancies; and
- How Land Banks Can Help Stabilize Neighborhoods With Vacancy Problems
Tune into Systemic Vacancy: Community Costs and a Pathway Forward, the first session in a six-part series called Policy, Practice, Process: Transforming Neighborhoods through Equitable Revitalization. The session analyzed historic policies that perpetuate vacancy and explore a framework for a systematic approach to addressing the issues.
This toolkit is a collection of guides and resources designed to help REALTORS® and Associations conduct activities to address affordability challenges in the communities they serve. Focused on engaging community, building coalitions and advocating for housing, the toolkit is based on the successes of other associations and offers practical tips and examples for a range of activities including housing fairs, buyer education classes with an eye on homeownership stabilization, housing forums, and more. Associations are encouraged to use the toolkit for inspiration then apply for a Housing Opportunity grant to support an activity. Visit https://realtorparty.realtor/community-outreach/housing-opportunity/toolkit for more information.
Community Planning and Land Use
The Spring 2020 On Common Ground issue covers the impacts of COVID on both our personal space and our shared public space, including ways localities are helping people to keep their housing, changes to public and private spaces, and strategies for small businesses to keep the doors open. An online version is available via the OCG APP (Apple) (Google Play) and online via https://www.nar.realtor/on-common-ground. Over 35,000 copies were distributed to state and local associations and elected officials.
The Winter 2020 On Common Ground issue explores ways our cities, counties and towns are responding to COVID impacts and need for equity via through citizen engagement, planning and zoning reforms, data tracking and community revitalization strategies. Over 35,000 copies were distributed to state and local associations and elected officials. An online version is available via the OCG APP (Apple) (Google Play) and online via https://www.nar.realtor/on-common-ground.
NAR’s Land Use Initiative (LUI) has enabled state and local REALTORS® associations to influence public policy for over twenty years. On September 9th, Community Outreach conducted a webinar on how associations have successfully used the LUI and an analysis of recent issue trends by NAR’s consultant Robinson & Cole. Participants gained insight from an expert panel on two top issues analyzed - tenant protection and short-term rental measures - and how the analyses highlighted areas of concern leading to successful outcomes.
Hear an expert-led panel discussion on community design changes in the age of COVID-19 and possible long-term implications. Moderator Teresa King Kinney, CEO, Miami REALTORS® led the panel discussion featuring key experts from the American Planning Association, representing over 42,000 planning professionals in the country, and the design industry.