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On Common Ground Magazine: Fall 2022

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On Common Ground Magazine: Spring 2022

Fair Housing Toolkit

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Welcome to Fairhaven!

Use your fair housing knowledge to navigate challenging real estate scenarios in this interactive simulation

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Check out These Resources to Help Your Association Navigate Uncertain Times

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Understanding the CARES Act & Your Credit

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A Guide For At-Risk Homeowners

Fair Housing Action Plan

Unanimously Passed Plan Distinguishes NAR as a National Industry Leader on Fair Housing

The REALTOR® Party is a powerful alliance of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations working to advance public policies and candidates that build strong communities, protect property interests and promote a vibrant business environment.

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    SUCCESS STORIES

    Alabama REALTORS® Champion First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts — Again

    Having spearheaded the effort to create a First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account program in Alabama back in 2018, Alabama REALTORS® revisited the legislation as the end of a five-year sunset clause approached.  A Call for Action reminded lawmakers how important the tax-free savings accounts are for aspiring homebuyers, and the law was not only renewed, but extended and strengthened with fraud protections and transparency measures.
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    Ohio REALTORS® Back Legislation to Overturn Unfair Property Valuation System

    With help from an Issues Mobilization Grant from the REALTOR® Party, Ohio REALTORS® and a coalition of like-minded partners convinced lawmakers to reform the state’s property valuation system – one which, unique in the country, allowed third parties to challenge the value of another’s residential or commercial property for tax purposes.
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    Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® Use Advocacy Everywhere to Rally Voters Against Expensive and Ineffective Rent Control Proposals

    Using the REALTOR® Party’s Advocacy Everywhere program, the Santa Barbara Association mounted a member- and consumer-facing Call For Action that generated a 23% response rate in opposition to unreasonable rent control measures being considered by the City Council. Message heard, the council instead created a Housing Crisis Ad Hoc Committee.
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    Leveraging Study of Local Homestead Tax Exemption Policies, San Antonio Board of REALTORS® Brings About Dual Tax Relief for Homeowners

    The National Association of REALTORS®’ recent Housing Affordability Study inspired the San Antonio Board to commission one of its own on a local level, with help from an Issues Mobilization Grant from the REALTOR® Party. It used the resulting analysis of area Homestead Tax Exemption policies to convince city and county legislators to maximize tax relief for over-burdened homeowners.
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    With Polling and Issues Mobilization Campaign, Montana REALTORS® Deny Ballot Access to Damaging Property Tax Initiative

    A “Decline to Sign” campaign aimed at Montana voters helped to keep a proposed constitutional amendment off the ballot; though the initiative sought to exploit widespread public angst over residential property taxes, it would actually have replaced the state’s market-value based property tax system with an acquisition-value based system that would dis-incentivize listings and shift the tax burden to anyone buying property in Montana.
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    Conejo Simi Moorpark Association of REALTORS® Advocates for Wildfire Safety Measures, Demonstrating Voter Priorities Through Polling

    Twice in the past four years, Thousand Oaks, California has experienced devastating wildfires.  To mitigate the risk of future damage and loss, the local REALTOR® Association used polling and a Consumer Advocacy Grant from the REALTOR® Party to help convince officials that maintenance of the open space surrounding the city should be a priority. 
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    Five Years Later, Walkability Study Commissioned by Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS® is Still Paying Dividends

    In 2016, the REALTOR® Party established a Smart Growth mindset in the City of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, by funding an in-depth walkability study that continues to inform local decision-makers on infrastructure improvements.  Improvements large and small undertaken by the local REALTORS® and the city have strengthened the partnership and leveraged additional outside support.  
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    Ohio REALTORS® Leverage Issues Mobilization Grant to Preempt Threat of Rent Control

    When rent control was put on the ballot in Columbus, Ohio, the state REALTOR® association stepped in to tackle the issue before it became a home-rule free-for-all among local jurisdictions.  They used an Issues Mobilization Grant to have an expert draft the legislation, and spared the entire state from a policy that actually decreases much-needed housing.
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    Greater Piedmont REALTORS® Contribute Polling Resources to County Planning Efforts

    Working with the Planning Department of the largest county in its Northern Virginia operating area, Greater Piedmont REALTORS® commissioned a State and Local Growth poll from the REALTOR® Party that helped to quantify local attitudes toward housing growth.  The resulting data will help decision-makers in their long-term planning, and the project strengthened the REALTORS®’ role as community partners.
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    On Massachusetts’ South Shore, REALTORS® Use Advocacy Everywhere Program to Defend Against Dumping of Radioactive Wastewater in Cape Cod Bay

    Not disposing of nuclear waste in any region’s precious waterways would seem be a matter of common sense, but apparently, in Massachusetts, the corporation responsible for decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station wants to do just that.  To protect the environment, the economy, and the health of local communities, the South Shore REALTORS® have mobilized in opposition.
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    Missoula Organization of REALTORS® Uses Rural Outreach Grant to Promote Good Water Quality

    In collaboration with the Bitterroot Valley Board of REALTORS®, the Missoula Organization of REALTORS® is helping to educate homeowners, builders, and everyone involved with the real estate industry about the new rules governing residential property wastewater systems in Ravalli County, Montana.  Their campaign was supported by one of the REALTOR® Party’s new Rural Outreach Grants.
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    Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS Support the Health of Waterways, the Public, and the Economy with Issues Mobilization Campaign

    There was no question that the wastewater infrastructure of Yarmouth, Massachusetts was overdue to be replaced, but the local REALTORS took no chances when a major plan that was years in the making was put to a final vote.  A campaign supported by an Issues Mobilization grant from the REALTOR Party reminded voters how important the new system was to the environment, the residents, and to the peninsula’s tourist economy.                    
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    Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association and Aspire North REALTORS® (Traverse City, MI) Promote Strategic Development with Powerful 3D Economic Modelling

    Passions were high, and the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association had been tipped-off by social media to expect protesters at the public meeting it was hosting. Duly warned, they hired security, but in fact, the REALTORS® welcomed the opposition: it meant a chance to reach people who were misunderstanding the data behind a recent economic report recommending higher-density development in the small central Florida city of Oviedo. The REALTORS® were sponsoring the meeting to clarify and defend the report and its recommendations prior to the City Council’s consideration of a new comprehensive plan. Thanks to the expertise and level-headed sensitivity of the team they brought in to face the music, the contentious affair became a highly productive community conversation. A savvy mayor supported the effort, and a Smart Growth Grant from the REALTOR® Party made it possible.
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    Working with State Legislators, Tennessee REALTORS® Have April Declared Fair Housing Month in The Volunteer State

    Median housing prices in Tennessee have increased over 22%, and newcomers are coming to the state in droves, so the values of fair housing and equal opportunity housing are more important than ever. To elevate and amplify conversations and advocacy promoting these principles, the leadership of Tennessee REALTORS® spearheaded an effort to have the state legislature pass a resolution making April Fair Housing Month at the state level.
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    Columbia Board of REALTORS® Helps City and County Modernize Revenue Stream by Adopting Local Internet Use Tax

    Without a local internet use tax in place on sales from out-of-state vendors, the City of Columbia, Missouri and its surrounding county had been missing out on tens of millions of revenue dollars from the online shopping trend.  To help the municipality capture this income for essential services, the Columbia Board of REALTORS® used an Issues Mobilization Grant from the REALTOR® Party to convince voters to adopt the tax.  
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