Placemaking Grant & ResourcesA
Placemaking means many things to different people, but NAR looks as placemaking as a way to make communities better places to live by transforming unused and underused sites and “eyesores” into welcoming destinations accessible to everyone in a community.
NAR’s Placemaking program provides technical and financial assistance to help REALTOR® Associations, and their members, become engaged in placemaking in their communities. Available resources include the:
- Placemaking Guide for REALTOR® Associations
Learn the details of Placemaking; the kinds of projects Placemaking entails and how to organize them; and where to go for assistance and resources.
- Spaces to Places Blog
See and learn about Placemaking projects in action across the country. Post includes ones written by REALTOR® Association staff who have received a placemaking grant.
- Placemaking Webinars
Get more in-depth information on the various types of Placemaking and how REALTORS® are involved in Placemaking activities in their communities.
- Placemaking: Now More than Ever – Air Date: April 28, 2021
COVID has demonstrated that Placemaking, which creates outdoor public spaces and destinations for a community to gather, is needed now more than ever. There has never been a better time for your Association to apply for an NAR Placemaking Grant. Hear several of your peers describe their placemaking projects, which may give you an idea for a project, during this online discussion.
Listen to the Recording
- Placemaking: Now More than Ever – Air Date: April 28, 2021
- Better Block Guide for Associations
Read an overview of what a Better Block is and how you and your partners can plan and organize a Better Block. Ideas generated at a Better Block may lead to permanent Placemaking projects.
- Smart Growth Grant
Funds the planning and community input activities related to Placemaking and land-use policies, such as Better Block events, Placemaking visioning and Main Street® analyses.
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new, outdoor public spaces and destinations in a community. Note that the grant does not fund upgrading or enhancing existing public spaces or adding amenities, like benches, signage, bike racks, etc. to existing public spaces, like parks or trails.
The Placemaking grant is only available to state and local REALTOR® Associations. If you are not a REALTOR® Association, contact your local REALTOR® Association to see if they would like to partner with you on your project.
There is a Level 1 and a Level 2 Placemaking grant. An association can be approved for one Level 1 and one Level 2 Placemaking grant per year.
Review the criteria below for each grant level before applying for a Placemaking Grant. You may want to contact Catherine Mesick PlacemakingGrants@nar.realtor before applying for a grant to discuss your project idea and see if your project meets the criteria.
Note – 10% Grant Commitment Waived in 2022. As part of NAR’s Right Tools, Right Now, the 10% financial contribution requirement is waived.
The Level 1 Placemaking grant funds demonstration and temporary projects to provide an opportunity to test the viability of permanent projects that increase community livability and downtown revitalization.
Amount: up to $1,500 depending on engagement of REALTOR® Association, and its members, project impact on community and meeting of all project criteria listed below.
Project Budget: The Grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less than $25,000.
Types of Projects Funded: Temporary & pop-up parklets, parks, pedestrian plazas, bike lanes. See: Pop-ups before Permanent Spaces
The Level 2 Placemaking grant funds the creation of new public spaces and destinations in a community accessible to everyone and open at all, or most, times. It does not fund adding amenities to existing public spaces or enhancing them.
Amount: up to $5,000 depending on engagement of REALTOR® Association, and its members, impact on community and meeting of all project criteria listed below.
Types of Projects Funded: new parks, pocket parks, plazas, parklets, alley activations, trails, dog parks, play/fitness areas, community gardens.
- Types of projects the grant funds
- Types of projects the grant does not fund
- Examples of REALTOR® Associations Placemaking Grant Projects
- Placemaking Grant Application Examples
Project Budget: The Grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less than $200,000.
Criteria & Review: Level 1 & 2
- Review: NAR Staff
- Number/Year: One level/year
Required Attachments: Before photo of site (no aerial photos), project design concept plan, project budget and after photo of completed project
- Application Deadline: Applications can be submitted at any time through October 15, 2022
- Association and Member Engagement
Placemaking projects offer an opportunity for REALTOR® Associations and REALTORS® to engage in community outreach and set the stage for advocacy efforts. An association, and its members, need to be involved in the planning, designing, funding and/or building of the project.
- Maximum grant amount is awarded to reflect projects that are association-led or projects where the REALTOR® Association is a main partner
- Association engagement: fundraising and/or donations, planning, organizing, Realtor Action Day project, serves on project committee/task force, etc.
- Realtor engagement: site clean-up, planning, coordinating, serves on project committee/task force, building of project, etc.
- Multi-Functional & Community-Orientated
- Benefits everyone in the community (not for targeted groups)
- Includes several amenities (seating, kiosks, landscaping, artwork, etc.) that everyone can enjoy
- Compliant with city permitting and zoning
- Open and accessible all or most of the time (not inside buildings, not behind locked doors/gates)
- Usage of Grant Funds: Funded and not funded
- Funds can be used for amenities (street furniture, benches, tables, paint, signage, building materials, landscaping, murals, etc.), site preparation, artist fees, etc.
- Funds can’t be used on marketing, food, plague, opening day activities. In addition, there are activities none of our grants will fund: REALTOR® association staff time/hours; general operating expenses; fundraising contributions; registration fees for REALTOR® education or other events; donations, cash prizes or purchase of gifts and prizes.
Application Process: Level 1 and Level 2
- Submit the online application and attachments (site photo, budget, design concept plan)
- Staff will schedule a brief phone call to discuss project and application
- You may need to provide additional information
- You can have your partners on the call
- Staff will review the application after all required information is received
- Staff will contact the association within 7 business days after the phone call provided all information is provided
Project Completion: Level 1 and Level 2
All projects must be completed within one year of the grant application approval and, the following needs to be completed:
- Email photo(s) of the completed project to PlacemakingGrants@nar.realtor.
- Submit the evaluation form outlining impact of project (i.e. use/visits by the community; media coverage; other community projects, community response, outcomes, etc.). If you do not submit an evaluation from, you will not be able to apply for another grant.
- Get the word out on your placemaking project via the News Release template.
- Optional: Celebrate your success. We encourage you to consider having a “ribbon cutting” ceremony or similar event and inviting members, the community, stakeholders and media.
- Optional: Write a blog post to be included in the Spaces to Places blog. Posts should be no more than 300 words and should include photos and/or videos.
Disbursement of Funds: Level 1 and Level 2
The request for reimbursement must be made within 1 year from when the application was approved.
Funds will be distributed as follows:
- Submit the Placemaking Grant Reimbursement Request Form
- Submit the ACH form with your reimbursement request. Reimbursements during COVID-19 will be made via electronic transfer.
- If electronic transfer is not possible, you can request a check. Checks can only be made payable to your association or board. Please provide the name and address of your Association when submitting the check request.
- Submit proof of how funds were spent.
- Acceptable forms of proof include an invoice, signed contract, receipts and cancelled checks.
Questions? Contact Catherine Mesick, PlacemakingGrants@nar.realtor.