If there is one takeaway our NAR members need to get from Smart Growth Advisory Board (SGAB) it is this: RealtorParty.Realtor
This is where local and state associations can view and apply for community outreach grants that the SGAB oversees. These particular grant programs include Placemaking, Land Use Initiative and Smart Growth. In 2018, there were 53 Placemaking Grants approved, totaling $131,800, and there were 98 Smart Growth Grants approved, totaling $246,975. There were also 46 Land Use Initiative Grants approved, totaling $$761,484.50.
As we went around the room for introductions, SGAB Chair Georgia Meacham asked each of us to talk about issues that are occurring in our areas. We heard from REALTORS® from Idaho, Wyoming, Kansas, Virginia Beach, Orlando, Austin, Chicago, Pittsburg, California Bay Area, Denver, Minneapolis, and Detroit. Issues range from lack of bike/walking trails, rural areas not having enough internet bandwidth (which is a driver of industry that relies on high-speed internet), lack of green spaces, connectivity, lack of infrastructure for development, transit oriented development (TOD), density, and possible displacement as a result from gentrification that will be spurred by Opportunity Zones.
The On Common Ground Magazine, published by NAR, distributed 46,709 hard copies in 2018. These are sent to local governments, city and county planners and REALTORS®, etc. This high-quality magazine contributes to building the REALTOR® brand. If you have never read this magazine, it is an award-winning publication filled with meaningful articles that cover the 10 principles of smart growth, which include housing choices, walkable neighborhoods, community and stakeholder collaboration, strong sense of place, fair and cost effective development, mix land uses, preservation of open spaces, variety of transportation choices, direct development towards existing communities and compact building design. You can view the latest edition at www.nar.realtor/on-common-ground.