The Smart Growth Advisory Board advises on NAR’s Smart Growth Activities, neither address NAR policy issues nor recommend policy. These activities include:
- The Land Use Initiative which pays for legal consultation on local proposed ordinances
- Publishing On Common Ground (the highly respected magazine that is distributed free to members and associations who give it to their local elected officials and others that deal with growth and development)
- The Smart Growth Grants that help local associations engage in growth and development
- The Smart Growth in the 21st Century class that which exists in the REALTOR® Party Community Outreach part of our association and offers trained instructors to work with local associations to educate their members and communities
The 14 member board is made up of:
- Chair, Vice Chair, and Immediate Past Chair
- Chair and Vice Chair of the Land Use Property Rights and Environment Committee
- Chair and Vice Chair of the State and Local Issues Policy Committee
- Chair of the Housing Opportunity Committee
- Chair and Vice Chair of the State and Local Issues Mobilization Support Committee
- 1 AEC Representative
- 3 At-Large Members
- 1 Leadership Team Representative
The smart growth program is based on two understandings:
- That REALTORS® do best when they are in a vibrant, healthy economic and ecologic environments.
- That unfortunate laws on the books are much more expensive to deal with than making sure smart laws are implemented in the first place.
The need to educate and support our members led to the development of these programs so that our members can understand and be in front of the issues.
This year’s meeting we heard reports about:
- Number of Land Use Initiatives: 46
- Short-term rental is a hot topic across the country
- The new issue of On Common Ground that will be published shortly
- The topic of this issue is new forms of housing gaining acceptance and use in the country.
- Number of copies to be distributed: 46,700
- Grants given: placemaking: 52, smart growth projects: 98
- Demand for grants far exceeded our budget, and while NAR was generous in finding some additional funding, it did not meet requests.
- The Advisory Board recommended adjustments to the program and has been opting for smaller awards to a larger number of recipients
- Classes taught: 24 with 15 currently pending
- These classes are an excellent opportunity for outreach, often the only visit from National level instructors to small boards
- The topics of walkability and resilience are in the curriculum
- These sustainability subjects are areas that can be strengthened