Home Ownership Fair held at Santa Fe Place funded through a grant from the National Association of Realtors Housing Opportunity Program. Realtors Tom Trujillo and JoAnne Vigil Coppler with the Easter Bunny (aka Realtor Caroline Russell).

The National Association of Realtors has a number of grant programs to support the work of realtor associations. The Santa Fe Association of Realtors has been successful through the years in accessing grant monies to create an affordable housing report, a state of housing report, pocket park enhancements, St. Michael’s corridor housing study, educational forums and website, Santa Fe Housing Action Coalition housing video, support for the Charity Begins at Home down payment assistance program, and other housing events or activities.

SFAR is reaching out to the public and its members to encourage new programs and initiatives that can support the Santa Fe community. All grants need to be approved and submitted by association leadership and staff, but proposals and ideas can bubble up from anyone.

Here are highlights of the NAR’s current roster of grant programs:

Placemaker Initiative

COVID has demonstrated that placemaking, which creates outdoor public spaces and destinations for a community to gather, is needed now more than ever. SFAR’s most recent placemaking grant provided funding to refresh murals at a city-owned pocket park and construct a children’s reading chair. The Placemaker Initiative provides technical and financial assistance to help Realtor associations and their members initiate placemaking activities – transforming public spaces into vibrant community places.

Housing Opportunity Program

The National Association of Realtors has always been a leading advocate for affordable housing. But with the growing gap between housing “haves” and “have-nots”, NAR’s leadership expanded its commitment to affordable housing in 2002 by creating the Housing Opportunity Program to encourage and facilitate greater involvement in housing opportunities by Realtor associations. Funds are available to launch or support housing programs, employer-assisted housing or to expand housing opportunity courses and forums to examine workforce housing issues.

Smart Growth Program

Smart Growth programs for Realtor associations focus on the concept that the healthier a community, the better the environment for all. Keeping a community attractive, livable and functioning well is a complex task. Who better to be stewards of their community than Realtors? Whether a community is grappling with transportation and land use issues, crowded schools or open space, or working to bring vacant properties back to productive use, the Smart Growth program has resources to help plant seeds that will pay dividends for the community for years to come. NAR offers many Smart Growth resources and programs specifically for Realtor association staff, including grants, issue research and assistance, publications, polling and surveys.

Fair Housing

As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects our livelihood and business as Realtors and depends on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity. The Fair Housing Grant program provides funding to Realtor associations to enhance the importance fair housing plays in the industry and in our communities. Fair housing grants may be used to hold educational activities such as a class or forum, to host a speaker who can address fair housing issues, or for speaker/author fees for a facilitated book club activity, and support activities that address fair housing issues in a community.

Commercial Innovation Grants

Commercial Innovation grants assist Realtor associations by making funding available to help launch new commercial projects and services, or innovative enhancements to existing programs locally.

If you have an idea or program that would benefit the Santa Fe community, don’t hesitate to convey your thoughts to SFAR for consideration.

Paco Arguello is Chief Executive of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors. Contact him at 982-8385 or paco@sfar.com.

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