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In an effort to help rebuild American communities devastated by the foreclosure crisis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a trade association with 1.2
million members, has partnered with the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), a nonprofit organization that facilitates the transfer of foreclosed and abandoned properties from financial intuitions to local housing organizations.
This collaboration will bring more than 1,400 state and local Realtor associations into a side-by-side relationship with leading nonprofits and state and local leaders to develop comprehensive and targeted plans to help bring stabilization to struggling neighborhoods. The partnership was made possible by the new federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which provides $6 billion in funding to reclaim neighborhoods permeated by high levels of foreclosed and abandoned property, property disinvestment, low prices, and low resident confidence.
“Realtors build communities and have the market expertise and property transaction tools to help local housing organizations understand local market conditions and how to put foreclosed houses back into the hands of stable homeowners,” said Vicki Cox Golder, NAR president. “Working in this partnership with NCST gives Realtors a seat at the community table to perform a leadership role in restoring vitality to communities across this great nation.”
As part of NAR’s Foreclosure Prevention & Response Program, Realtors have been engaged in foreclosure prevention efforts since early 2009. Over the past year, Golder said many state and local Realtor associations have shown outstanding leadership and have become active participants in community problem solving, proving that Realtors are a valuable local community partner.
“Neighborhoods across America have been decimated by high concentrations of abandoned and foreclosed homes. To reverse neighborhood decline, we need the Realtor community working hand in hand with other housing providers,” said Craig Nickerson, president of NCST. “This ambitious new campaign will harness the unique abilities of Realtors to remarket newly renovated homes and to rebrand the tarnished image of hard-hit neighborhoods.”
NAR and the NCST will be working nationwide on this new initiative, but a focus will be placed on enhancing capacity in states experiencing the highest level of foreclosure and abandonment. Based on severity of foreclosure problems, NAR began initiating contact with targeted state associations on January 27. In addition, in-depth training and education materials developed and provided by NCST will be available on NAR’s Web site.