|About NAR's Housing Opportunity Program|
The nation’s housing opportunity crisis is one that is well established and fed by an area’s economic, demographic and regulatory characteristics. Most disheartening is the fact that this is an issue that will not go away on its own. Without reasonable housing opportunities families are stressed to the breaking point, neighborhoods decline, jobs go unfilled and the quality of life suffers for all of us.
The mission of NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program initiative is to position REALTORS® as leaders in identifying, developing, advocating and promoting business opportunities, programs, products and resources that expand housing availability and ensure an adequate supply of housing opportunities for all in both the rental and homeownership sectors of the market.
NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program is structured around the recommendations of a special Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) appointed by NAR 2002 President Martin Edwards, Jr. at the start of his presidential term. The PAG found that the lack of available and affordable housing is reflected in several ways including access to employment, education, a good environment and safe neighborhoods. Lack of affordable housing also impacts all segments of the real estate market including first-time purchasers, low-income, minorities, seniors, disabled, renters and single-family buyers, as well as rental property owners and developers.
The vision was to create a program to serve as a blue print for REALTORS® to become leaders in identifying, developing, advocating and promoting business opportunities, programs, products and resources that expand housing availability and ensure an adequate supply of housing opportunities in both the rental and homeownership sectors of the market. The new Housing Opportunity Web site will ensure the successful navigability of this blue print by providing users with a source that can be searched by topic, type of program and location.
NAR 2003 President Cathy Whatley will continue to promote the new housing opportunity program during her term, which begins in November 2002. Whatley already has challenged REALTOR® associations at the state and local level to commit to developing a housing opportunity program within their communities by June 2003, to correspond with National Homeownership Week and NAR’s first national housing opportunity symposium.
Six Components of NAR's Housing Opportunity Program
Research and data gathering activities provide survey research, original research and analysis to assist with developing and providing new or enhanced tools for REALTORS® to use to better understand housing concerns in their community.
REALTORS® are in the unique position to be the best advocates and educators for, and promoters of, real solutions to today's critical housing needs. Training and business development resources educate members about the importance of counseling housing consumers and on how to ensure they are the first point of contact for housing services both within the REALTOR® family and among external sources. Information about such sources and courses are listed on the program’s Web site.
Coalition building activities at the national, state and local levels are focused on actively seeking partnerships between REALTOR® organizations and other groups to develop and advocate new approaches that make housing more affordable.
Legislative/Regulatory & Programmatic Advocacy
Support by REALTORS® of national, state and local legislative, regulatory and programmatic advocacy that support policies and activities that promote safe, healthy and affordable housing, improve access to all types of housing and close the homeownership gap are encouraged under the program.
Communication activities include a national housing symposium hosted by NAR on September 25, 2003 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, as well as similar regional symposiums to help raise the awareness of housing needs issues at the national, state and local level and to encourage REALTORS® and other housing-related organizations and lawmakers to work together to find effective solutions to this issue. Toolkits to assist REALTORS® with establishing housing opportunity programs through this national initiative will be made available on the program’s Web site.
Web Page and Tool Kits
NAR's Housing Opportunity Program web site offers a wealth of programs and resources REALTORS® and other housing-related groups can use to help promote housing opportunities in their communities. The program also encourages REALTOR® and advocacy groups to submit successful grass roots programs and success stories for the membership to integrate into their local businesses.
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|Components of NAR's Housing Opportunity Program|