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employer-assistedhousing initiative guideFor State & Local REALTOR® Associations                 A primer on Implementing ...
The Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide is a project of the National Association of REALTORS ®’ Housing Opportunity...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e                                              ...
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations
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Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations

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Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide For State & Local REALTOR® Associations

  1. 1. employer-assistedhousing initiative guideFor State & Local REALTOR® Associations A primer on Implementing EAH in your Community to Address Local Workforce Housing Needs
  2. 2. The Employer-Assisted Housing Initiative Guide is a project of the National Association of REALTORS ®’ Housing Opportunity Program.© National Association of REALTORS ®, 2012
  3. 3. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State & Local REALTOR® AssociationsTable of ContentsOverviewAddressing Local Workforce Housing Challengeswith Employer-Assisted Housing 5Part OnePlanning an EAH Initiative 9 1 Determine Local Housing Needs 10 2 Develop a Plan to Implement 13 3 Identify Partners and Build a Coalition 14 4 Identify Housing Programs, Funding, and Resources 17 5 Develop a Media Campaign 19Part Twoemployer-assisted housing initiatives 23 1 Implement a Comprehensive EAH Strategic Initiative 24 2 Offer an EAH Class and Follow-up Sessions 27 3 Develop a Task Force, Committee, or Partnership 32 4 Plan and Coordinate an Event, Forum or Panel Presentation 35 5 Create EAH Resources 38 6 Contact and Engage Employers 40 7 Implement an EAH Benefit 42 8 Advocate for EAH Legislation and Programs 43
  4. 4. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State & Local REALTOR® AssociationsTable of ContentsPart ThreeTools and Resources 45 General 1 NAR Funding and Technical Assistance 46 2 State and Local Government EAH Programs 48 3 How to Do a Paycheck to Paycheck Analysis for Your Community 53 EAH Event Planning 4 EAH Initiative Invitation 56 5 EAH Initiative Outreach Event Agenda 58 6 EAH Initiative Launch Event Agenda 59 7 EAH Initiative Launch Press Release 60 8 Suggested Talking Points for Speakers 62 9 Employer/Partner Sign-On Letter 66 10 EAH Overview PowerPoint Presentation 67 EAH Fact Sheets for Event Attendees and Partners 11 Non-Profit Organizations 70 12 Lenders 72 13 State and Local Governments 74 14 Businesses 76 For Employers 15 Employer Survey 78 16 Employee Homeownership Questionnaire 82 17 Customizable Employer Brochure 87additional Resources 89
  5. 5. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State & Local REALTOR® AssociationsAddressing Local Workforce Housing Challengeswith Employer-Assisted HousingHousing opportunities for low-and moderate-income working households—often referred to as “workforce housing”—continue to be elusive in many parts of thecountry. Much of our workforce, including those who provide vital services to a communitysuch as firefighters, police officers, teachers, health workers, cannot afford to live in thecommunities where they work or serve. Home prices and rents in many communities are still beyond the reach of many workingfamilies. Tight credit, the difficulty of saving for a down payment, and market uncertaintyall add to the challenges of homeownership. These factors create a ripple effect that compelsworking families to move farther away from jobs in search of affordable housing. Longer commutes contribute to traffic congestion, more money spent on transportation,increased stress, and less time for workers to spend time with family and friends. And, insome parts of the country, shortages of workforce housing have taken a toll on local employers’bottom lines as employers are unable to recruit and retain workers in high-cost areas. These challenges are compounded by an unstable housing market and neighborhoodsdevastated by foreclosures. The foreclosure crisis not only jeopardizes the Americandream of homeownership, but it also increases the number of vacant properties and makesneighborhoods unsafe and undesirable for working families. Communities across the country increasingly are recognizing the importance ofaffordable and workforce housing to their economic and social well-being and are lookingfor ways to address the housing challenges in their communities. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is committed to helpingaddress the workforce housing challenges facing many communities. We are encouragingstate and local REALTOR® associations to do the same. Some REALTOR® associationsand REALTORS®, along with employers, non-profit organizations, and governmententities, have already started to implement creative initiatives to expand workforce housingopportunities for families working in their communities.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 5
  6. 6. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State & Local REALTOR® Associations As a REALTOR® association, you are in a unique position to work in partnership withothers in your community on workforce housing solutions. You and your members have theclout to bring about needed changes in local, state, and federal housing policies. With over1,400 local and state boards and associations, you are a grassroots powerhouse. In addition, REALTORS® are ideally situated to improve housing opportunities where they live.REALTORS® are the first stop for the prospective homebuyer or renter and are in direct contact withhomebuyers facing the challenges of housing affordability. Your members see firsthand the frustrationand discouragement of working families unable to realize their dream of homeownership.As members of the business community, REALTORS® understand how the lack of affordablehousing—both rental and owner-occupied—threatens the vitality of their communities.Employer-Assisted Housing Offers a SolutionOne approach that addresses workforce housing challenges in communities is employer-assisted housing (EAH). EAH is an employer-provided benefit that not only helps employeesmeet their housing needs but also helps employers achieve business goals. EAH programscan help employees move beyond the most common hurdles to homeownership and purchaseor rent a home in the community where they work. EAH programs can also benefitemployers by building employee loyalty and workforce stability. And communities benefit,too, as EAH can help to enhance revitalization efforts and stabilize a community. There are many EAH benefit options an employer can offer: n Homebuyer and homeownership workshops conducted by a REALTOR® and/or a non-profit housing organization or lender. Topics could include the homebuying process, obtaining mortgage financing, sources of financial assistance, home maintenance tips, and foreclosure prevention. The workshops could be conducted at the workplace, at little or no cost to the employer. n Homeownership counseling offered by a non-profit housing organization. Counseling would help employees better understand the homebuying process or how to improve their credit score. Employers could give their employees time off to attend counseling and/or help pay for the counseling services.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 6
  7. 7. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations n Financial assistance provided by the employer in the form of grants or loans that can be used for a down payment or closing costs on a home purchase. This benefit can include requirements to meet business objectives. n Reductions in the cost of homeownership through subsidized second mortgages, matched savings programs, below-market interest rate mortgages, or mortgage guarantees. n Subsidized rent and utility payments for employees who choose to remain renters. An EAH benefit can be customized by targeting it to specific employee groups or limiting it to homes in a specific neighborhood. An EAH program can be a “win-win-win.”“ y benefit coordinator helped M Employees win because they receive financial assistance me to apply for other funds and/or education that help them buy or rent a home and walked me through the closer to work. They enjoy extra time—formerly spent whole process. Advance Food in traffic—for family or community life. Employees Company is very generous to who purchase homes also have the opportunity for offer this benefit. Without it, equity appreciation as their home’s value increases. I would not have been able to EAH is also a win for the employer. It helps purchase my home.” employers build value within their organizations and—  dvance Food Company ( Enid. Okla.) A enhance their reputations. Employers can benefit Employee from a more stable workforce; reduced turnover, recruitment, and training costs; and increased productivity and loyalty. All these benefits may help to enhance a company’s bottom line. Employer-assisted housing benefits can also generate positive publicity for the employer and create goodwill in a community. An employer-assisted housing program can help set a company apart in the community and in the minds of customers. And, finally, EAH is a win for the community. People who live and work in the same location tend to be invested in the community and become more active in civic and N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 7
  8. 8. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations volunteer activities. Employer-assisted housing benefits can“ e provide each employee with W allow critical workers and emergency responders, such as a $2,500 loan that is forgiven police, fire, and medical personnel, to purchase homes in after three years of continuous the communities where they work. This proximity can cut service. What better way to build response times in an emergency. Additionally, employees loyalty and pride than to create an living nearby work can lead to less traffic congestion and avenue for home ownership?” less air pollution. As communities are revitalized through — Advance Food Company, Enid, Okla. the new homeowners and the businesses created to serve them, the community will be stabilized. Population and the community’s tax base will increase. Employees will spend more of their money in the local community, supporting local merchants and further adding to the economic vitality of the area. Community Revitalization at the University of Pennsylvania The Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition reports in an issue brief that the University of Pennsylvania’s comprehensive revitalization strategy, which included an EAH benefit, brought 25 new retail stores, an 86% increase in foot traffic, a 40% reduction in crime, and 200 new jobs for local residents. See: Connecting Working Families to Economic Opportunities in the Philadelphia Region: The Role of Employers.1 NAR’s four-hour EAH Class 2 explains employer-assisted housing and its benefits in more details. links 1 http://www.policylink.org/atf/cf/%7B97c6d565-bb43-406d-a6d5-eca3bbf35af0%7D/ CONNECTINGWORKINGFAMILIES-PHILA.PDF 2 http://www.realtor.org/eahclass N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 8
  9. 9. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations PART ONE Planning an EAH InitiativeThis guide provides a roadmap for your association to plan and implement anEAH initiative to help increase affordable housing opportunities for working families in yourcommunity. The guide is a service of NAR’s My REALTOR® Party 1 initiative, which providesstate and local REALTOR® associations with a personalized gateway to custom build their ownadvocacy and community outreach programs. An EAH initiative can be one of those programs. If you decide to pursue an EAH initiative, your association has two options. It may want toplan and implement a comprehensive EAH strategic plan or simply undertake one or two EAHprojects. You will also want to decide whether to develop your own initiative or undertake onethat would include other community and political stakeholders. The decision is up to you. The guide includes examples of EAH initiatives state and local REALTOR® associations havealready implemented and that you can replicate in your community. As one housing expert put it,“Plagiarism may have been bad in college, but when it comes to helping communities solve thehousing problems of working families, it makes perfect sense!” If your association decides to launch an EAH initiative, here are some of the steps that canhelp ensure your program’s success. The order of these activities may change, depending onwhether you choose to work with other groups in your community on EAH initiative. 1. Determine Local Housing Needs 2. Develop a Plan to Implement 3. Identify Housing Programs, Funding, and Resources 4. Identify Partners and Build a Coalition 5. Develop a Media Campaignlinks1 http://www.myrealtorparty.comN AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 9
  10. 10. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations1 Determine Local Housing NeedsBefore you begin to plan an EAH n etermine how workers in various metropolitan Dinitiative, or any housing initiative, you should area are affected by the housing marketconduct research to analyze the local housing n nalyze the affordability of housing for Amarket and evaluate the extent to which affordable, working families in various occupations acrossworkforce housing is a local concern. the country Begin by documenting any current workforcehousing problems in your community. Providing n se these analyses to evaluate wages and Uquantification, anecdotal evidence, or examples housing costs in your community.of specific groups with special housing challengeswill demonstrate the importance of the issue and In addition to conducting your own researchhelp you decide what to focus on. into workforce housing affordability, investigate Your research should include conducting whether similar research already exists. If youa local market analysis to find out about local live close to a university, you may want to checkhousing and rental costs, local income levels, there to see if it has a school or center thatwages of typical occupations in your community, works on local housing issues. Planning, urbanand neighborhoods in need of stabilization. studies, public policy, or public administration Simple analysis of prevailing wages often departments are often good places to start. Manyreveals gaps between local housing costs and schools also have specialized research centersincomes. These gaps command attention from that may focus on housing or related issues at thelocal policymakers, businesses, and the media. local, regional, or state level. Universities willWage data are available by occupation for the often welcome the opportunity to help with localnation, regions, states, and many metropolitan areas initiatives in order to be recognized as an asseton the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website.1 to their community. They may also be willing to The Paycheck to Paycheck database developed by share their data to help your research efforts.the National Housing Conference and the Center Local governments are also an excellentfor Housing Policy helps communities evaluate source of data and research. Depending on howthe affordability of workforce housing and makes your local government is organized, you maythe case for taking action. The online, interactive wish to contact the local planning agency, thedatabase 2 presents wage information for more community development department, or thethan 70 occupations and home prices and rents local housing and redevelopment departmentfor more than 200 metropolitan areas. Paycheck or authority. These organizations usually haveto Paycheck utilizes consistent measures of wages ready access to the most relevant data andand housing costs so you can: analysis for planning purposes and to qualify for federal programs.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 10
  11. 11. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations local residents up to date on real estate trends,“ oncern is apparent within the business C and indicates real estate’s impacts on the overall local economy. The reports helps everyone in community—particularly among larger real estate better serve clients and customers and employers—about the lack of affordable aids decisions by public agencies, officials, and economic development groups. housing for employees, with companies reporting the shortage as being problematic The data you gather will also help the business in hiring and retaining entry- and community assess how housing affordability problems affect their businesses and point out mid-level workers, according to a new possible strategies for addressing those problems. survey released by the Urban Land You may want to work with your local chamber of commerce or economic development agency Institute (ULI). The same survey showed to plan and conduct a survey for local employers. interest by moderate-income workers This survey could help companies determine whether housing issues, including foreclosures, in moving closer to work if affordable are concerns for their employees. Survey results housing were available.” will also help businesses evaluate how much the lack of affordable housing is costing them in employee turnover, recruitment, and training. Some business organizations have National or local non-profits involved in commissioned studies geared to the concerns housing and community development may of area businesses, such as employee recruitment also be a good source of information as well as and retention problems. The business a potential partner in your efforts. For example, community has rallied around the cause of a study 3 by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) affordable housing in many areas throughout explored the impact of a lack of affordable the country. Adapt what they’ve done for workforce housing on commuting. It found your community. that a lack of affordable housing near jobs was a problem for both employers and employees. Regional Housing Needs Assessment: Ouray and San Miguel Counties, Colo.5 Missoula Annual Housing Report 4 “Most employers in both counties feel that The Missoula (Mont.) Organization of affordable/employee housing for local residents REALTORS® develops an annual housing is a problem, although employers in San Miguel report to provide a comprehensive, credible, and perceive it to be a more critical problem. In neutral picture of the Missoula housing market. Ouray County, 84% of employers indicated Community members and policy makers use housing is a problem among others that need the report as they seek to serve Missoula’s attention or one of the more serious problems needs. The housing report consolidates data in the area. In San Miguel County, 90% of that aren’t readily available to everyone in a employers indicated affordable/employee single publication; provides a reliable gauge of housing is a problem.” the overall health of Missoula real estate; keeps N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 11
  12. 12. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® AssociationsSilicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Once you have completed your research, 6Business Climate Survey you should be prepared to get the word outEvery year the Silicon Valley (Calif.) Leadership on your findings. Use brochures, speakingGroup surveys its members to highlight the engagements, press releases, and social media togood and bad elements of doing business in increase community awareness of the need forSilicon Valley. Each year, housing is cited as a workforce housing. Provide information to thetop impediment. Housing affordability, along business community and inform the press of yourwith cost-of-living issues, serve as choke points community’s workforce housing issues and howfor recruiting and retaining top talent to Silicon your initiative will help address these issues.Valley. Despite the downturn in the economy,housing persists as a key issue for people whostruggle to work and live in the Valley. Demand Resourcescontinues to lag behind supply, creating a tight How to Do a Paycheck to Paycheck Analysis,housing market. Funding and Technical Assistance, Employee Homeownership Questionnaire, EmployerCost-of-Living Challenges in Silicon Valley Questionnaire in this guide’s Tools andin 2011: Resources section.n ousing Costs - 84% H linksn igh Taxes - 59% H 1 http://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htmn raffic Congestion - 36% T 2 http://www.nhc.org/chp/p2pn Health Care - 36% 3 http://www.uli.org/News/PressReleases/n K-12 Education Care - 31% Archives/2007/2007PressRelease/Lack%20 of%20Affordable%20Housing%20Near%20n Child Care - 19% Jobs%20A%20Problem%20for%20n Energy Costs - 10% Employers%20and%20EmployeesNew%20 Survey%20from%20ULI%20Looks%20at%20n Higher Education - 5% Impact%20of%20Commuting.aspx 4 http://missoularealestate.com/index.php/ You can also work directly with employers to fuseaction/market.cms/ID/7eb4277e16a74b844ahelp them survey their employees to determine 24377e79833380the housing needs and to see whether an EAHbenefit would be of value to their employees. 5 http://www.smrha.org/NeedsAsessment2011.pdf The information you gather will help you 6 http://svlg.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/define your objectives and support your goals 2011BusinessClimate_digital.pdfand objectives with basic information on whythey are important. This information will alsohelp you when you start to sign on partners.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 12
  13. 13. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations2 Develop a Plan to ImplementOnce you have conducted your research n rogram Description: A program description Pand determined your community’s workforce provides a comprehensive explanation of thehousing needs, you will be ready to decide initiatives and activities in the program. It canwhat initiatives you and your members want to be used as a basis for a written brochure, pressundertake to help meet these needs. You’ll also releases, or an oral presentation. A detailedneed to decide whether you want to develop a program description of at least two or threecomprehensive strategic plan or implement one pages will also strengthen your efforts toor more standalone EAH programs. communicate the fundamental aspects of the Your plan should include a mission statement issue or program to staff and volunteers whodescribing what you want to accomplish. It should need to know the “official” facts and figures.also include the goals, objectives, and outcomesyou will work toward. There are many resources Develop a budgetavailable on the details of program planning, but Create a detailed budget based on your workhere are some of the basic steps to follow. plan. Be realistic about financial expectations and anticipated expenses, and aim for transparency inCreate goals and a work plan all aspects of your planning.The goals you set will define your project’sscope, and ultimately help you determine its Evaluate your programsuccess. Set measurable goals and then create To learn and grow from the experience, youa work plan that lists and schedules the tasks need to know what worked, what didn’t, andnecessary to achieve these goals. what you could do differently next time. Here’s where setting measurable goals during then imeline: A timeline estimates the target dates T planning phase really pays off. Evaluate your for completing certain activities or phases of program by collecting data about each of its goals activity, such as “Finalize the forum agenda” and determining how well those goals were met. or “Offer an EAH Class.” A written timeline is Project evaluation tools include surveys, case important to avoid unrealistic deadlines and to studies, and data analysis. keep work on track.n ction Plan: An action plan identifies and A prioritizes the work that need to be done Resources to run a program, assigns specific people to Funding and Technical Assistance in this guide’s carry out each task, and sets a due date for Tools and Resources section. completion.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 13
  14. 14. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations3 Identify Partners and Build a CoalitionWhatever EAH initiatives you choose Greater Boston Chamber of Commercefor your organization, finding partners who EAH Initiativeshare your goals can have significant benefits. Source: “Employer-Assisted Housing Programs:Behind most successful housing initiatives A Guide for Chambers of Commerce.”stand coalitions and partnerships of business After a survey conducted by the Archdioceseand community interests coupled with public of Boston documented a severe lack of affordableofficials. A chorus of voices is more powerful housing in the region and called upon boththan a single brave voice. government and business to help solve the If you decide to organize a coalition or a problem, the Greater Boston Chamber ofworking group, be inclusive. You will probably Commerce (GBCC) and its Housing Taskwant to involve a broad range of organizations Force determined it was time to take action.and interest groups. Seek out chambers of The GBCC contracted with Housing Partners,commerce, Rotary clubs, industry associations, Inc., a full-service national affordable housingnon-profit or quasi-public housing groups, consulting firm, for assistance in designingfinance and development organizations, faith- and marketing an EAH initiative. The Citizensbased organizations, economic development Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA),groups, community college or university a non-profit organization, was hired to providerepresentatives, and civic groups. information and referral services to participating Adding organizational partners can also companies’ employees. The chamber committedhelp build local awareness and interest in your a lump sum amount, which was contributed byEAH initiative. Partners can provide venues for its members, to cover CHAPA’s administrativebusinesses to discuss their workforce housing overhead for the first year. CHAPA then offeredneeds. They can also help target and promote its services to employees. Services were paid forEAH programs to their business members by participating employers.and clients. As was noted previously, businesscoalitions and chambers of commerce can help Non-profit organizations are usually criticalassess how housing affordability problems partners in planning an EAH or housingaffect businesses and determine strategies for program. Select a group that is experienced inaddressing those problems. It could also be providing counseling, including foreclosureextremely effective for the chamber’s CEO intervention and homeownership, homebuyer,to contact member companies personally and and financial literacy education. Your non-encourage their participation. profit partners may also be able to administer and manage an EAH benefit on behalf of the employer and handle reporting and program measurement activities. Non-profits are oftenN AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 14
  15. 15. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associationsknowledgeable in federal, state, and local housing finance organizations. They also shouldassistance programs, which can help employees be able to identify mortgage financing that worksin EAH programs. In addition, many non- with EAH financial assistance. Lenders mightprofit affordable housing groups have years even be willing to develop mortgage productsof lobbying and advocacy experience and can suitable for EAH programs.promote policy solutions that advocate for Local lenders may also want to participateemployer-assisted housing programs. They also in an EAH program as a way to meet theircan offer valuable experience in how to raise Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) goals.awareness, promote programs, and change The Community Reinvestment Act is designedpolicy for affordable housing. to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, includingREACH Illinois: A Successful EAH Initiative 1 low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), Such neighborhoods are typically defined asa Chicago-based non-profit, non-partisan at or below 80 percent of area median income.group of business and civic leaders, created a “Understanding Employer-Assisted Mortgageprogram called Regional Employer-Assisted Programs: A Primer for National Banks” 2Collaboration for Housing (REACH) to promote discusses this and other benefits for a bank toEAH in the region. MPC provides technical work with borrowers from employer-assistedassistance to localities and their employers housing benefit programs. It also looks at howthat are working to develop and launch EAH banks can offer loan products to complementprograms. Starting in 2000 with a pilot project employer-assisted home purchase program andat a manufacturing plant in St. Charles, the discusses how these programs can be offered inprogram quickly blossomed to 16 employers the conventional secondary mortgage market.by 2003. By 2011, more than 70 employershad signed on, including Allstate Corporation,Bank of America, Robinson Engineering, and HomeStreet Bank’s EAH Program 3Medela Corporation. Other participants include Affinity Lending, a special department atthe Chicago Public Schools, Rush University HomeStreet Bank, a lender active in HawaiiMedical Center, and the University of Chicago. and the Northwest, offers an employer-assistedTo date, more than 2,500 employees have housing program called the Hometown Homebecome homeowners under the program. An Loan Program. Select employers and membershipadditional 1,000 employees have completed organizations include the Hometown Home Loanhomebuyer education and counseling. program in their benefits packages, saving their employees and members thousands of dollars In addition to your own REALTOR® members, on their home loans. Benefits include reducedyou may want to involve key community closing costs, homeownership education, andstakeholders and individuals connected to the down payment assistance programs. Throughhousing industry among your partners. These the Affinity Lending Center’s relationship withpartners might include architects, developers, a select group of experienced RE/MAX agents,real estate professionals, homebuilders, lenders, employees are now eligible to receive additionalbankers, and consultants. Lenders will know savings when they purchase or sell a homewhat low-cost financing alternatives are currently with a Home Advantage REALTOR®.available from their organizations and from stateN AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 15
  16. 16. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations You should also consider involving the public Resourcessector including mayors, local officials, and Fact Sheets for Event Attendees and Partnersgovernment agencies as partners in your EAH in this guide’s Tools and Resources section.initiative. Government representatives will NAR’s EAH Class 4 includes more details onalmost certainly support expanded housing forming a team to discuss the planning andopportunities for a local workforce unable to implementation of an EAH benefit withafford to live in the communities they serve. local employers.Communities with limited funds could still bevaluable by encouraging the private sector to linkshelp increase housing opportunities for thelocal workforce. 1 http://www.reachillinois.org 2 http://www.occ.gov/topics/community-affairs/ publications/insights/insights-employer- assisted-mortgage-programs.pdf 3 http://www.homestreet.com/programs/ employers/index.aspx 4 http://www.realtors.org/eahclassN AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 16
  17. 17. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations4 Identify Housing Programs, Funding, and ResourcesFederal, state, and local governments the next three years. Through this pilot program,have programs, funding, and resources available up to 10 eligible Northwestern employees canto help local residents become homeowners. receive $3,000 in down payment/closing costThese programs may include down payment assistance toward the purchase of LiveEvanstonassistance, special homebuying programs, or homes. Participants also qualify for freebelow-market interest rates on mortgages. You homebuyer education provided through cityshould identify these programs to see how your funding by the nonprofit Housing Opportunityinitiative can complement existing activities that Development Corporation. Some employeesincrease housing affordability. also may be eligible to tap LiveEvanston grants There are also federal programs, such as worth $7,000 to $50,000.those administered by HUD or by state andlocal organizations. Examples include FHA, VA, One of the best places to find out aboutand USDA Rural lending programs. You should state finance programs is to contact your statefind out how your community’s Neighborhood housing finance agency (HFA). State housingStabilization Program (NSP) funds are being finance agencies have provided affordableallocated. Employer-assisted housing programs mortgages to 2.6 million families to buy theircan be used in combination with NSP funding first homes through the Mortgage Revenueto help revitalize and stabilize neighborhoods. Bond program. Using housing bonds, theSeveral communities are now tying EAH Housing Credit, HOME, and other federal andprograms to their NSP funds. state resources, HFAs have crafted hundreds of housing programs, including homeownership, rental, and all types of special-needs housing.LiveEvanston 1 If you don’t know the name of your local stateEvanston (Ill.)-based Northwestern University housing finance agency, you can find it throughhas recently announced a pilot EAH program the National Council of State Housing Financeto help employees buy foreclosed homes being Authorities.2redeveloped and put back on the market throughthe City of Evanston’s LiveEvanston program.In 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing Noteand Urban Development awarded $18 million You should invite a representative from your stateto Evanston through the Neighborhood HFA to speak at your annual conference so thatStabilization Program to redevelop vacant and he or she can let your members know of financialabandoned properties. The funding allowed assistance programs available in your state. ManyEvanston to purchase and, in partnership with REALTORS® are unaware of these programs andBrinshore Development, rehabilitate some thus many of their clients are also unaware of them.100 homes for rental or sale to homeowners overN AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 17
  18. 18. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations In researching financial resources and Philadelphia “Home Buy Now” Program 4housing programs in your community, your The Philadelphia “Home Buy Now” programlocal government officials, such as the mayor, provides government matching funds that boostcity council, county commission, community the purchasing power for workers who buy orand economic development agencies, and renovate a home in Philadelphia. An employer’shousing agencies, can also be sources of contribution to an employee (at a minimum ofinformation. $500 per employee) is matched dollar-for-dollar State and local governments can maximize by the city up to $5,000. The funds can be used tothe likelihood of local employers offering an defray homebuying costs, such as closing costs.EAH benefit by providing financial incentives to Another key source of information on existingleverage an employer contribution and create a financial assistance programs is your local non-greater benefit for the employee. These initiatives profit housing organization. As mentioned earlier,could include providing matching funds for these are the same organizations that you maydown payments, giving tax credits to employers want to partner with on your initiative.that provide housing assistance financing, andadministering programs targeted to municipalemployees. You should check to see if your city Resourceshas some form of housing finance program. State and Local Government EAH Programs in this guide’s Tools and Resources section.Maryland House Keys 4 Employees Program 3The Maryland Department of Housing and linksCommunity Development, the state’s housing 1 http://liveevanston.net/description.htmlfinance agency, will match contributionsdollar-for-dollar, up to $2,500, toward down 2 http://www.ncsha.orgpayment and closing costs from participating 3 http://www.mmprogram.org/hk4Employees.aspxemployers. The employee must be using the 4 http://www.phila.gov/commerce/Content/Maryland mortgage program to purchase the HBNBrochureCombined.pdfhome in order to receive the benefit of HouseKeys 4 Employees assistance. The employer’scontribution may also be combined withassistance from local jurisdictions, unions, and/ornon-profit agencies. However, the House Keys 4Employees match to the combined contributionswill not exceed $2,500. The match is in the formof a 0% deferred loan that is repayable at the timeof payoff or refinance or upon the sale or transferof the house. This assistance is over and abovewhat is available through the standard downpayment and closing cost assistance program andmakes it possible for borrowers to have morechoices in buying a home.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 18
  19. 19. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations5 Develop a Media CampaignA successful media campaign can NIMBY (Not-in-My-Backyard) attitudes andeducate the public and policymakers alike concerns blocking progress because of poorlyabout the value of an employer-assisted designed housing projects in the past? Dohousing initiative. Many communities have people understand what workforce housing is?used campaigns to present facts about why Acknowledge these real concerns, and addressworkforce housing is needed and to address them in your press materials and presentations.the fears of citizens concerned about newworkforce housing being developed in their Massachusetts Chapter 40Bneighborhoods. Public support engendered Outreach Media Campaignthrough media campaigns has influenced The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®local politicians and administrators to approve created an advocacy, public outreach, andworkforce housing programs. Media campaigns educational campaign to sustain the state’salso have been used to educate local businesses current Affordable/Workforce Housing Statuteabout the importance of workforce housing to (referred to as 40B). This law enables localtheir bottom line. Well-crafted campaigns have zoning boards of appeals to approve affordablebrought new players and resources to bear on housing developments under flexible rules. Theaffordable housing solutions. association learned early on that there were Before you start a media campaign, you major misconceptions about affordable housing.will need to get your facts in order and your Another lesson was that a campaign of thisgoals clearly defined. Use the information you nature requires consistent and concise messagesgathered from your research in determining that fit neatly into a sound bite, bumper sticker,local housing needs to develop an EAH fact or brochure title. The group also learned thatsheet. This information will help you create and public opinion polling was critical so that thetarget your message. You should also determine campaign messages could address concerns andwhether appealing to facts (the median price misperceptions directly and provide informationof a home and median household income) or in a way that appeals to the voters. Not allappealing to emotion (the police and firefighters audiences respond to the same informationwho serve our community cannot afford to live the same way, so where funds are available, ain our community) is the most effective angle to campaign should craft different messages forpresent to the media. different audiences. It’s also important to have You should also identify the obstacles and good data available in order to back up claimsresistance that your initiative may face. Is made to the media and the public.your biggest challenge a lack of awareness ofthe need for more workforce housing? AreN AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 19
  20. 20. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations Don’t forget to think about all the resources Personal Testimonies Get Resultsyou will need to launch your marketing and media When the Homebuilders Association ofrelations efforts. Can your partners commit to Maryland organized a Workforce Housingspecific levels of volunteer staffing and funding? Summit, the Maryland Center for CommunityCan you get in-kind contributions of expertise Development (MCCD) made sure to turn out a(for example, advertising, media time, printing, strong showing of local people whose lives werepublic speakers) to support the campaign? Or will personally affected by the affordable housingyou need to pay for professional services? Try to shortage. Speakers included an elementaryobtain upfront financial commitments from your school teacher who left her job because of theassociation’s leadership and your partners able to high cost of housing, as well as Maryland policeprovide direct funding. and firefighters forced to look for housing up You may need to use a variety of methods to to 100 miles away from the communities theymarket your initiative, including print ads, public protect. These personal testimonies helpedservice announcements, press releases, websites, communicate the magnitude of the housinge-newsletters, social media, and brochures. crisis and generated headlines. The positiveDon’t reinvent the wheel. Other REALTOR® publicity led the governor to convene a taskassociations or non-profit partners may be able force to make land use and zoning changes moreto provide sample advertisements, press releases, friendly to affordable housing development.and other documents. You can benefit frompublic opinion research that other campaigns While media events and promotionalalready have done to help craft your message and brochures are important tools, one of the mostto choose words and images to elicit the most effective means of marketing your initiative willpositive response. be face-to-face meetings and presentations. Work Sponsoring a media event to educate with your members and your initiative partnersbusinesses and residents about the benefits of to identify groups and individuals to contact.workforce housing is a great way to inform Next, determine which partners would be bestgeneral and targeted audiences. If an elected to give the presentation or attend a meeting.official gets on board with your initiative, he Also work with your partners to collect andor she may be willing to participate in events share media contacts. The local press can helpto announce and promote your initiative. If educate the public, highlight the human interestthere is a local employer that is implementing side, gather information, and publicize youran EAH benefit, it may also want to participate events and accomplishments.and discuss the value of its EAH program. And remember, public attitudes don’tYou may want to maintain a speaker’s bureau change overnight. Housing legislation and localfor presentations to elected officials, planning policy decisions can be a long time in coming.commissions, and community groups at events Determine in advance how you will decide iflikely to get media coverage. your media campaign is effective. Keep your sights on your goals, but don’t expect to reach them immediately. Be in it for the long haul and savor the victories along the way.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 20
  21. 21. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® AssociationsResourcesA Media Training Guide for Affordable HousingAdvocates 1 can help you to simplify the processof launching a media effort by providing someessential guidelines and information you need tocreate a campaign that will get results for yourassociation. The guide provides step-by-stepdirections, advice, and examples that will enableyou to plan a campaign tailored to your needsand resources.links http://www.tcah.org/pdf/Media_Training_1 Guide.pdfN AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 21
  22. 22. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations PART TWO Employer-Assisted Housing InitiativesWhether you want to develop a comprehensive employer-assisted housingstrategy or start out by implementing one or two activities for your employer-assisted housinginitiative, here are some ideas and examples to get you started. Most initiatives also includeexamples of what state and local REALTOR® associations have done to introduce employer-assisted housing in their communities. 1. Implement a Comprehensive EAH Strategic Initiative 2. Offer an EAH Class and Follow-up Sessions 3. Develop a Task Force, Committee, or Partnership 4. Plan and Coordinate an Event, Forum or Panel Presentation 5. Create EAH Resources 6. Contact and Engage Employers 7. Implement an EAH Benefit 8. Advocate for EAH Legislation and ProgramsNotesSome examples refer to the Home From Work™ Class. This class was updated recently andthe name was changed to the EAH (employer-assisted housing) Class.If your association has planned or implemented an EAH initiative, please let NAR staffknow by contacting Holly Moskerintz at 202-383-1157 or hmoskerintz@realtors.org.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 23
  23. 23. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations 1 Implement a Comprehensive EAH Strategic InitiativeMississippi Association of REALTORS® MAR plans to target at least one majorThe Mississippi Association of REALTORS ® employer in each local community and also(MAR) helped push through groundbreaking, hold at least three regional town hall meetings.statewide employer-assisted housing legislation Meeting invitees will include key employersin 2008. Now, the organization has moved on to from each community, along with a range ofthe next phase: outreach and education through community leaders and stakeholders. MARan EAH strategic initiative. MAR wants to make will identify employers through local chamberssure its members and Mississippi community of commerce and the efforts of REALTORS®leaders have the information they need regarding who have a strong working knowledge of theirthe advantages of the new state law and other communities’ most influential employers. MAR’sEAH incentives so that the state’s growth EAH team has been received enthusiastically bypotential can be fully realized. the school boards of Jones County and the City To accomplish this goal, MAR is offering of Laurel, both of which will sponsor homebuyerNAR’s EAH Class to REALTORS® in each of workshops for their teachers. MAR believes thatMississippi’s 21 REALTOR® board areas. These if some of the most notable community-engagedclasses will give agents the skills and resources employers start offering employer-assisted housing,to call on local employers and work with them others may follow. MAR will also participateto develop EAH benefits for their employees. in the annual conferences of some of the state’sIn addition, a statewide EAH committee major trade associations, such as the Mississippimade up of trained members from each of Manufacturers Association, where a large numberthe local boards will administer an employer of employers can be reached at once.outreach and education plan. MAR and this Individual REALTORS® play a critical rolenew committee will also develop marketing in this initiative because their strong workingcollaterals on the benefits of EAH for its partners knowledge of their communities helps themand membership. This plan is part of an ongoing identify the most influential employers andprocess to educate and engage employers and promote the benefits of EAH to them. Overcommunity leaders on the topic of EAH issues the long term, EAH programs throughoutand opportunities. Mississippi should strengthen the workforce; The next step in MAR’s strategic initiative attract further economic growth; and expand theis to sponsor town hall meetings, where pool of qualified, responsible future homeowners.community stakeholders will be asked to joinMAR for EAH information sessions. MARbelieves that there is potential to set shared goalsthat the leadership teams of each respectivegroup will embrace.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 24
  24. 24. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® AssociationsWisconsin REALTORS® Association With the expansion of the work on workforceThe Wisconsin REALTORS® Association housing that WRA and WHEDA have been(WRA) and the Wisconsin Housing and doing, WRA expects to be able to educateEconomic Development Authority (WHEDA), more real estate professionals, lender partners,have been partners on a number of statewide employers, and, ultimately, employees on theworkforce housing initiatives over the years. value of homeownership and the importance ofUntil now, however, EAH materials have been good preparation for homeownership by potentialprovided in hard copy format or via email. first-time buyers. This expansion will allow both Now all these materials reside in one organizations to reach out to the entire state in aeasily accessible location — a new website. more efficient and timely manner. The programREALTORS®, employers, lender partners, will serve REALTORS®, lenders, counselingcounseling agencies, and consumers will agencies, and employers by increasing theirall be able to use the site. The site’s wealth access to a comprehensive list of available EAHof information should build interest in and programs and EAH training materials.demand for the program. The site not onlyprovides information on current EAH program Alabama REALTORS® Associationofferings in the state, but also describes how to More Alabamians are taking on longercreate an EAH program. It also offers training commutes simply because they cannot affordmaterials from the EAH class. Employers and to live in the cities in which manufacturersmunicipalities that have viewed information on have located. The Alabama Association ofthe website are calling and asking for additional REALTORS® (AAR) is working to addressinformation. These new contacts will result in this situation through the Alabama Workforcemore employers creating programs that will Housing Initiative.expand the knowledge of homeownership within This initiative will assist four Alabamatheir staffs and ultimately impact the rate of REALTORS® in becoming authorized instructorshomeownership in their communities. for NAR’s EAH Class. The instructors will WRA and WHEDA are also working to offer be pivotal in meeting the Initiative’s secondthe EAH Class to additional REALTORS®, goal — enrolling Alabama REALTORS® in thelenders, and counselors within the state. Since EAH Class within the first two years of thethe website was launched in May 2010, there have program. The REALTORS® who complete thebeen many requests for program information, EAH Class will be equipped with the necessarytraining, and implementation across the state. tools and resources to reach out to employers inWRA and WHEDA have presented several EAH their communities and assist them in developingClasses to REALTORS®, lenders, and housing EAH benefits program for their employees. Eachcounselors, and additional classes are scheduled. class will discuss the definitions of workforce Another goal is to educate and engage new housing and EAH, workforce housing trendsemployers. WRA has already enrolled several and challenges, finance options for lower incomeemployers in an EAH program, with more workers, and use of the resources available onemployers pending. As new employers enroll, the new AAR website. The Alabama Real Estatetheir workers will have additional access Commission has accredited the EAH Class forto homeownership preparation education four hours of continuing education credit.classes, increasing their opportunities tobecome homeowners.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 25
  25. 25. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations A new EAH website will offer a “one- and that had broad networks for outreach. Thestop shop” for consumers and REALTORS® Alabama Housing Finance Authority agreedalike, as well as AAR’s housing partners. The to provide affordable housing information forwebsite will provide consumers with general AAR’s new website and to promote EAH at itshousing information, an overview of EAH, housing fairs throughout the state. The Alabamaand information on how a REALTOR® can Homebuilders Association and the Alabamaassist them. REALTORS® will be able to see Retail Association agreed to promote EAH toinformation about EAH education opportunities their members at their meetings.and a calendar of events throughout the state AAR is continuing to engage otherthat may be of interest. The site will also post community partners in its efforts to get thethe names and contact information of AAR word out about the need for viable solutionsmembers who have completed the EAH Class. like EAH to address the housing needs of Additional outreach strategies include emails, working families. The long-term goal is toFacebook, Twitter, and collateral materials and have a REALTOR®-led coalition of Alabamagifts for those who attend various housing fairs organizations dedicated to the goals ofand workshops across the state. AAR brochures workforce housing.will also be available at the Alabama Department The initiative will build REALTORS’®of Economic and Community Affairs’ 48 local awareness of workforce housing opportunitiescareer centers. and empower them to help their clients meet AAR realized early on that to be effective in the challenges of locating affordable housingits outreach and promotion efforts, it would need near their employment. AAR is excited aboutto involve other community partners. Only then the prospect of educating REALTORS® withcould it ensure that the message of the benefits firsthand knowledge of the benefits of EAH. Theof EAH was widely received. As AAR pulled vision is for those REALTORS® to reach out totogether its rollout strategy, it looked for partners their local communities and local employers.that were interested in helping workforce familiesN AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 26
  26. 26. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® Associations 2 Offer an EAH Class and Follow-up SessionsPresenting an EAH Class can be your Mississippi Association of REALTORS®first EAH initiative. A class is a good place to The Mississippi Association of REALTORS®start because it will introduce your members to (MAR) co-sponsored a Home From Work™employer-assisted housing and will prepare them Class with NAR and invited members from allto discuss EAH with local employers. As your of the 21 local REALTOR® boards in Mississippimembers become more knowledgeable about to attend the class as a way to introduce themEAH, they will also be able to help you promote to EAH. After this class, MAR’s directorother initiatives. The EAH Class could be of education and another member becamefollowed by an optional follow-up session where authorized to teach the EAH Class. They thenyou and your members can work on an action taught classes throughout the state to MARplan together. members, giving them the skills and resources to call on local employers. Ten classes wereHold an EAH Class offered in 2010.The EAH Class is a four-hour session thatfocuses on how to work with local employers Co-Sponsor a Class with Otherto discuss employer-assisted housing, the benefits Associationsof implementing an EAH program, and three A smaller association or board may want to planoptions (homebuyer and homeownership and organize an EAH Class with one or moreworkshops, one-on-one counseling, and financial other associations in the area. Pooling resourcesassistance) employers can implement to help their will let you market your class to a greateremployees purchase a home close to work. number of people.Organize a Class for Local Boards Northeastern Colorado REALTOR® BoardsState associations may want to take the lead and The Loveland-Berthoud Association ofoffer an EAH Class to their local associations/ REALTORS® looked into offering a Homeboards. This is a great way to introduce EAH From Work™ Class to its members. Theto local REALTOR® associations’ and boards’ board decided that it would make more sensestaff. Local associations and boards can then to hold the EAH Class in conjunction withdetermine whether to offer the EAH Class to neighboring boards to share costs and traintheir members. more REALTORS®. Three local boards joined together to co-sponsor a class. The course was announced by all boards around the state and was attended by REALTORS® and affiliates from various areas of Colorado.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 27
  27. 27. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® AssociationsCoordinate Statewide Classes member questions about EAH. It will also helpState associations may also want to take the lead them promote the benefits REALTORS® willand introduce EAH throughout their state by gain from taking the class.offering the EAH Class to members statewideand at the state’s annual conference and other New Jersey Association of REALTORS®events. This approach will ensure that all The New Jersey Association of REALTORS®REALTORS® have access to an EAH Class. plans to offer the EAH Class throughout the state and educate approximately 300Alabama Association of REALTORS® REALTORS®. NAR helped to initiate this effortThe Alabama Association of REALTORS® by co-sponsoring a pilot EAH Class in Edison,(AAR) created the Alabama Workforce Housing N.J., in January 2010. The EAH Class is partInitiative. Part of this initiative is to assist four of the association’s Helping Hands TowardsAlabama REALTORS® in becoming authorized Homeownership program, which educatesinstructors for NAR’s EAH Class. Once the new both REALTORS® and consumers about theinstructors are in place, AAR will provide them resources available to those seeking to ownwith the resources they need in order to teach their own homes.the EAH Class and will offer the course on aregular basis across the state. Wisconsin REALTORS® Association The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA)Mississippi Association of REALTORS ® partnered with the Wisconsin Housing EconomicThe Mississippi Association of REALTORS® Development Authority (WHEDA) to offer(MAR) co-sponsored a Home From Work™ the EAH Class to REALTORS®, lenders, andClass with NAR and invited members from all counselors within the state. One EAH instructorof the 21 local REALTOR® boards in Mississippi will conduct the training throughout the state.to attend the class as a way to introduce them WRA believes that by training professionals into EAH. After this course, MAR’s director EAH, it can expand the number of employersof education and another member became offering EAH benefit programs in the state. WRAauthorized to teach the EAH Class. They then and WHEDA are working to train additionaltaught classes throughout the state to MAR REALTORS®, lenders, and counselors within themembers, giving them the skills and resources state to be EAH certified. Several EAH Classesto call on local employers. Ten classes were have been held and more are scheduled.offered in 2010. Wyoming Association of REALTORS®Vermont Association of REALTORS® The Wyoming Association of REALTORS®As part of the Vermont Association of (WAR) sponsored five Home From Work™REALTORS’® workforce housing initiative, Classes in March 2009. The classes were taughtthe association plans to educate the state’s by one instructor, who traveled throughoutREALTORS® on employer-assisted housing. the state. About 90 students were trained,At least three of VAR’s five employees will including WAR’s president-elect. He used histake the EAH Class. This will allow staff to new knowledge to reach out to several employersbe knowledgeable and capable of answering after taking the class.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 28
  28. 28. e m p l o y e r - a s s i s t e d h o u s i n g i n i t i at i v e g u i d e For State Local REALTOR® AssociationsCoordinate an EAH Class 4. roup Presentation. Have students determine GFollow-up Session what groups, such as the chamber of commerce,After completing the EAH Class, many students local economic development agency, or local non-will express an interest in contacting local profit organization, they may want to contact toemployers. You may want to hold a follow- offer a presentation on employer-assisted housing.up session that focuses on the practical skills Add information to customize the presentationaddressed in the EAH Class. In a one-to-three- for these groups, as well as information on localhour session, students can decide if they need programs. Brand the PowerPoint.more practice before talking with employers 5. oreclosure Prevention Resources or Fand what they would like to do as a team. Other Workshop. Have students either createpossible topics for follow-up sessions include: content for a foreclosure resources package to distribute to employers or a foreclosure1. on-profit Organization Speaker. Identify N prevention workshop to present to employees. a local non-profit organization that may be Invite a local non-profit organization partner interested in being represented on an EAH to this session as it may already have the initiative team. Have a representative from information needed to put together a package the organization come to a follow-up session of resources or a foreclosure prevention to discuss local, state, and federal financial presentation. Work with the non-profit assistance programs, as well as the education organization to distribute the resources and counseling services the organization package or to conduct the workshop. The provides. The organization’s representative non-profit may also work with employers to may also want to discuss how the organization provide additional counseling to employees. administers and manages EAH benefit plans for employers (if that is a service it provides). Northeast Florida Association2. ction Plan. Have students work on an action A of REALTORS® plan as a team. They can begin by conducting The Northeast Florida Association of the local research including a market analysis, REALTORS® (NEFAR) presented the Home identifying local financial assistance and From Work™ Class in two parts. In addition to housing programs, finding out whether any presenting the NAR class curriculum to students, local employers offer EAH benefits, identifying NEFAR scheduled a second follow-up class that local non-profit organizations and lenders that focused on developing and polishing presentation could be come team partners, and identifying skills. The participants were required to present potential employers that might be interested in a 15-minute homebuyer workshop before an implementing an EAH benefit. evaluation panel in order to become a credentialed HOME representative. The accreditation was3. omebuyer/Homeownership H required before students could contact employers. Workshop. Have students incorporate Lenders were encouraged to take the EAH Class the information they collected from their and to work with REALTORS® in discussing EAH research to customize a homebuyer and/or with employers. The class was part of NEFAR’s homeownership workshop using PowerPoint. HOME (Homeownership Made Easy) program, They could brand the PowerPoint as well as in which it partnered with the City of Jacksonville add additional topics depending on the local to promote EAH benefits to local employers. employees and programs available.N AT I O N A L A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ® w w w. r e a l t o r s . o r g 29

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