SOURCE: National Association of Realtors

National Association of Realtors

July 12, 2010 10:43 ET

NAR, NHC Help Bring Homeownership to the Heartland

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) -  The National Association of Realtors® and the National Housing Conference have partnered to host a regional workforce housing forum today in Minneapolis. Bring Workers Home will focus on workforce housing challenges in the Midwest and highlight some of the region's most successful housing programs.

The goal of the Bring Workers Home forum is to help create more affordable housing opportunities for public and private sector workers throughout the Midwest. At the event, Realtors® will be joined by business leaders, housing and community development professionals, city council members and other elected and appointed officials, as well as human resource and employee benefit professionals. More than 100 attendees are expected.

"Realtors® build communities and believe that people should be able to afford to live and work in the same community," said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. "Today's Bring Workers Home forum will help shine a light on how the lack of affordable workforce housing impacts the economic and social well-being of the entire region. By sharing ideas about how to successfully address those challenges, we hope to encourage more housing opportunities for those who currently have few options but deserve to enjoy the values of homeownership."

In many communities, especially high-cost ones, a full-time job does not always guarantee a family a decent, affordable place to live. This is particularly true for low- to middle-income workers like emergency personnel, teachers, retail clerks, hospitality staff and office employees, whose salaries have not kept pace with local home prices. Often the lack of affordable housing choices near places of work leads to longer commutes, sprawl, and traffic congestion -- this can degrade the quality of life for all residents.

At a morning panel discussion, experts from Minnesota will talk about why workforce housing matters to communities across the state. Jeffrey Lubell, executive director of the Center for Housing Policy, NHC's research affiliate, will be the keynote luncheon speaker. Lubell will detail the importance of preserving and expanding workforce housing near transit and highlight the unique opportunities presented by the new interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities of the Department of Treasury, Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Two afternoon panels will highlight successful housing programs underway in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and how workforce housing can be advanced through successful community partnerships.

Tomorrow, Realtors® will participate in NAR's Employer-Assisted Housing class. The four-hour class helps real estate professionals better understand employer-assisted housing benefits and teaches them to work with local businesses and organizations to implement housing benefits for their employees.

The Bring Workers Home forum is part of a series of four regional forums hosted by NAR and NHC to address workforce housing. The forums are taking place throughout 2010 in Atlanta, Honolulu, Minneapolis, and Austin, Texas.

The following regional and national partners helped NAR and NHC plan the forum: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; International Economic Development Council; Metropolitan Planning Council; the McKnight Foundation; Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors®; ULI Minnesota; and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

Since 1931, the nonprofit National Housing Conference has been dedicated to helping ensure safe, decent and affordable housing for all Americans. To learn more about the National Housing Conference and its research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, please go to www.nhc.org.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. News releases are posted on the Web site's "News Media" section in the NAR Media Center and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NARMedia.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.

Contact Information

  • For further information contact:
    Sara Wiskerchen
    202/383-1013
    Email Contact