WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 2, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — The National Association of Realtors® has awarded grants totaling more than $60,000 to 19 state and local Realtor® associations through the Housing Opportunity Program. The HOP grants program is a national effort designed to promote and expand affordable housing opportunities in communities across the nation.
“Realtors® are leaders in creating housing opportunities and these grants further our actions toward making housing affordable for all who are willing and able to become homeowners,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “The programs and activities these grants are supporting will raise awareness about the need for more affordable housing opportunities, as well as educate consumers about the home buying process, encouraging more responsible, informed homeowners.”
NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program Grants were established in 2006. Individual grants of up to $5,000 are awarded four times per year, in February, May, August and November. Since the program’s inception, nearly 200 grants totaling more than $660,000 have been awarded.
The grants support a wide range of housing opportunity activities, including housing symposia; home buyer education or housing fairs; counseling and financial literacy efforts; down payment or closing cost financial assistance programs; public opinion surveys; and Realtor® affordable housing education.
The following Realtor® associations received Housing Opportunity Program Grants in this year’s first round:
Arcadia Association of Realtors® (Arcadia, Calif.): $1,000 to support a forum for elected officials for a discussion related to the community’s redevelopment plans.
Akron Area Board of Realtors® (Akron, Ohio): $2,500 toward a housing summit with the theme, “Don’t Give up the Dream.” The event will connect those looking to buy, sell, save or renovate their home with the organizations that can help them achieve their goal.
Asheville Board of Realtors® (Asheville, N.C.): $3,000 to create a free short sales and foreclosure prevention course for the public.
Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association (Charlotte, N.C.): $5,000 to support a week of activities designed to raise awareness as well as encourage discussion and action about homelessness and other affordable housing issues in the community.
Cleveland Area Board of Realtors® (Cleveland, Ohio): $1,500 awarded to create a brochure highlighting a wide range of financial incentives offered by public and private entities for buyers, owners and sellers.
Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® (Fredericksburg, Va.): $5,000 to support participation in a collaborative effort with several other local Realtor® associations to create an online, interactive resource providing information about affordable housing programs, financing options and best practices.
Greater Piedmont Area Association of Realtors® (Warrenton, Va.): $5,000 to support participation in a collaborative effort with several other local Realtor® associations to create an online, interactive resource providing information about affordable housing programs, financing options and best practices.
Hays Board of Realtors® (Hays, Ky.): $2,000 to conduct a survey of community housing needs to determine the best use of land for additional housing development.
Mainstreet Organization of Realtors® (Downers Gove, Ill.): $3,000 toward a program, in partnership with a VA Hospital, to provide security deposits for homeless veterans.
New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors® (Metairie, La.): $2,000 for a training event and fair with a focus on foreclosure prevention and recovery.
Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors® (Portland, Ore.): $5,000 for a “Road Show” to promote the association’s homeownership opportunities website to culturally diverse communities.
The Realtors® Association of Prince William (Woodbridge, Va.): $5,000 to support participation in a collaborative effort with several other local Realtor® associations to create an online, interactive resource providing information about affordable housing programs, financing options and best practices.
Richmond Association of Realtors® (Richmond, Va.): $5,000 to support participation in a collaborative effort with several other local Realtor® associations to create an online, interactive resource providing information about affordable housing programs, financing options and best practices.
Salt Lake Board of Realtors® (Sandy, Utah): $2,500 to conduct a housing fair to educate Realtors® and the public about a wide range of housing resources for foreclosure prevention, loan modification and purchase assistance.
Santa Clara County Association of Realtors® (San Jose, Calif.): $5,000 to fund and operate a foreclosure prevention center through a consortium of nonprofit housing agencies, the city and the local Realtor® association.
West Hawaii Association of Realtors® (Kailua Kona, Hawaii): $3,000 to hold a homeownership fair for residents and potential residents of West Hawaii.
West Metro Board of Realtors® (Carrollton, Ga.) $2,500 to work in conjunction with the city and housing authority to create a program to provide down payment assistance to qualified borrowers.
Williamson County Association of Realtors® (Brentwood, Tenn.): $3,000 to create a website to inform the public about changes in the housing market, requirements for home ownership, and tips on being a responsible property owner.
San Mateo County Association of Realtors® (San Mateo, Calif.): $2,000 to present an educational workshop for first-time home buyers, which will explain the home buying process from start to finish.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. News releases are posted in the website’s “News and Commentary” tab.