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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has honored six REALTOR® associations with Community Outreach Awards, recognizing them for their community involvement, the organization recently announced. The associations awarded are Cape Fear REALTORS®, N.C.; Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, N.Y.; Austin Board of REALTORS®, Texas; Richmond Association of REALTORS®, Va.; Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS®, S.C.; and Bronx-Manhattan North Association of REALTORS®, N.Y.

“REALTORS® are community leaders and are dedicated to building successful neighborhoods and advocating on behalf of homeowners,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “I am proud to recognize the associations that are receiving NAR’s Community Outreach Award; through their work, these associations exemplify the core values of REALTORS® to improve their neighborhoods and communities.”

Community Outreach Award Winners

Cape Fear REALTORS®, North Carolina
The association made use of two NAR Land Use Initiatives to defeat a proposed vacation rental ordinance in Kure Beach and work with elected officials to modify a zoning change for group homes in New Hanover County. The association also received two NAR Placemaking Grants to build community gardens—and incorporated both activities into a REALTOR® volunteer action day—and an NAR Smart Growth grant to hold a seminar for 165 people on water issues and bring together several community groups to discuss the topic.

Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, New York
The association, working closely with the city and other local organizations, utilized an NAR Housing Opportunity grant to hold a housing fair called “Celebrate City Living,” which attracted 500 people. The association also used four NAR Smart Growth grants to sponsor a lecture series on equity in planning and hold a symposium for community design professionals on planning and transportation.

Austin Board of REALTORS®, Texas
With an NAR diversity grant, the board held a two-day conference surrounding the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ (NAREB) State of Housing in Black America report; the local NAREB chapter and leaders from the local Hispanic and Asian real estate professionals’ organizations, NAACP, Black Chamber of Commerce and Urban League attended. The board also received NAR Housing Opportunity grants to connect homeless veterans to permanent housing, hold an event about the community’s need for small homes and townhouses, host housing fairs, and hold a forum to explore the connection between housing and health. The board also took advantage of an NAR Smart Growth grant to fund a community workshop about a large development that many neighbors opposed, which helped facilitate the city, developers and neighbors reaching consensus.

Richmond Association of REALTORS®, Virginia
The association used an NAR Housing Opportunity grant to support Project Homeless Connect, an event that matches volunteers and service providers with the homeless. NAR Housing Opportunity Grants were also used to educate the public on the connection between housing supply and economic prosperity and for seminars on community land trusts. The association also held two vacant property trainings supported by NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program, and invited Richmond public officials, city staff, property owners and housing advocates to learn about the effect vacant properties have on communities and real estate values and the techniques that can be used to turn these properties into community assets.

Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS®, South Carolina
The association implemented an NAR Placemaking Grant to build a playground and received a NAR Smart Growth Grant to support a community planning analysis by the Urban Land Institute. The association also undertook a pilot walkability study, or “walkshop,” using an NAR Smart Growth Grant to host a national expert in walkability who carried out a “walk audit” to observe and analyze the Myrtle Beach community and to make a major commercial artery more safe and welcoming for pedestrians.

Bronx-Manhattan North Association of REALTORS®, New York
Using an NAR Placemaking Grant, the association partnered with the local Bronx Community Board 9 on a public arts project that used local artists to create a mural celebrating notable people from the Bronx, from hip-hop pioneers to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The mural has contributed to the success of a new pedestrian plaza adjacent to a rail transit station. Taking advantage of several NAR Smart Growth Grants, the association worked with Bronx Community Board 9 to undertake long-term planning activities to change local land use and zoning.

To be considered for the award, associations must have made use of REALTOR® Party Community Outreach resources over a two-year period to address a challenge facing their community, developed partnerships with community stakeholders, or involved the public in a project or discussion to improve the community.

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