The Massachusetts association used NAR’s Ira Gribin Workforce Housing Grant in 2011 to help fund an advocacy campaign to sustain the Commonwealth’s Affordable/Workforce Housing Statute. The REALTOR®-supported statute enables local zoning boards of appeals to approve affordable housing developments under flexible rules. The Massachusetts association and a diverse coalition of housing groups successfully beat opponents who had obtained sufficient signatures for a recall referendum. Had it passed, this referendum would have repealed a law that helped to create more than 56,000 homes across Massachusetts for low- and middle-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities over its 40-year history. (Note: While this particular grant is no longer available from NAR, Housing Opportunity Grants and Issues Mobilization funds could be used for programs like this one.)
The Wisconsin Association and its partner, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority teamed up to create — Wisconsin Housing Works — a web site devoted exclusively to workforce housing issues. The Wisconsin Association tapped NAR’s Employee-Assisted Housing (EAH) resources to develop this website, which informs and educates real estate professionals, lender partners, employers, and employees on the value of home ownership. The site lists EAH offerings in the state, describes how to create workforce housing programs and makes available training materials. The website is sparking calls from employers and municipalities for additional information on how they can create their own programs to expand home ownership knowledge and opportunities.