NAR and HUD-Bringing America Home
WASHINGTON (Sept. 22 -- The National Association of Realtors(r) has presented the Housing Opportunity Award to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson as part of a 40th anniversary celebration for the federal agency. The award recognizes HUD’s accomplishments and efforts over the past four decades to expand homeownership opportunities, enforce fair housing laws, and increase the availability of affordable housing.
“NAR is proud to present Secretary Jackson with this award,” NAR President Al Mansell said. “Like HUD, NAR and its members are committed to ensuring fair housing practices and improving housing affordability. Realtors(r) are committed to making the face of homeownership in America look more like America.”
Secretary Jackson said, “In the forty years since our creation, HUD has stood shoulder to shoulder with families across America, and made a measurable difference in millions of lives. Our accomplishments have been substantial, and our success has prepared us to meet the work ahead.”
NAR is a strong supporter of the FHA single-family and multifamily programs, which help provide housing for low income homeowners and renters alike. NAR supported the American Dream Downpayment Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in late 2003, which provided grants to approximately 80,000 lower income families to help them with downpayment and closing costs on their first homes. The grants are made to state and local governments through HUD’s HOME Investment Partnership program.
NAR encourages a wide range of diversity projects through the State and Local Diversity Initiative Grant Program. The program provides up to $3,000 in matching funds for activities that reinforce the role of Realtors(r) as leaders in the country’s increasingly diverse communities and extend the benefits of homeownership to more Americans.
State and local Realtor(r) associations across the country participate in the program, which has funded initiatives such as homeownership festivals; translations of homebuying materials, contracts and information into as many as 15 different languages; Realtor(r) training for identifying homes with adaptable designs for physically challenged homebuyers; and partnerships with local NeighborWorks organizations.
In the aftermath of recent events, meeting the housing needs of Americans has become even more important, Mansell said.
“In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, NAR applauds HUD’s efforts to identify foreclosed and Section 8 housing for families displaced by the storm, and we urge HUD to streamline the process to help make all of its vacant housing units available to the victims of Hurricane Katrina,” Mansell said. “Our members look forward to working with HUD as we rally to meet one of the most basic human needs -- shelter.”
Mansell recently returned from a tour of the storm-affected areas in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, during which he presented donations from the Realtors(r) Relief Foundation to the three state Realtor(r) associations. To date, NAR and its Realtor(r) members have raised more than $3.9 million for the foundation, all of which will be given to the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama state Realtor(r) associations for relief assistance to affected Realtors(r) and the general public in the region.
The National Association of Realtors(r), “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Information about NAR is available at http://www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the Web site’s “News Media” section in the NAR Media Center.
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