Realtors Partner with National Community Stabilization Trust to Revitalized Foreclosure Wracked Neighborhoods

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS | January 29, 2010 2:34 PM ET

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- The National Association of Realtors has joined forces with the National Community Stabilization Trust to help rebuild American communities devastated by the foreclosure crisis.

The collaboration will bring Realtors and the more than 1,400 state and local Realtor associations into a side-by-side relationship with leading national nonprofits, as well as with state and local leaders, to develop comprehensive and targeted plans to rebuild communities. The partnership was made possible by the new federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which provides $6 billion to reclaim neighborhoods wracked by high levels of foreclosed and abandoned property, property disinvestment, extremely 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 NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. "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."

"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."

Through a nationwide network of state and local associations, Realtors have been engaged in foreclosure prevention efforts since early 2009 as part of the NAR's Foreclosure Prevention & Response Program.

"The outstanding leadership of many state and local Realtor associations over the past year to become active participants in community problem-solving has proven that Realtors are a valuable local community partner," said Golder.

She cited strong efforts by the leadership in the Chicago Association of Realtors, the North Metro Realtors (Minn.) Association and the Realtor Association of Great Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) as examples of Realtors working through NSP to revitalize neighborhoods.

While NAR and the NCST will be working nationwide on this new initiative, a focus will be placed on enhancing capacity in states experiencing the highest levels of foreclosure and abandonment.

Beginning January 27, NAR will initiate contact with targeted state associations, based on severity of foreclosure problems.

The National Community Stabilization Trust is a nonprofit organization that facilitates the transfer of foreclosed and abandoned properties from financial institutions nationwide to local housing organizations, and provides access to financing in order to promote productive property reuse and neighborhood stability. In collaboration with state and local governments, the Stabilization Trust builds local capacity to effectively acquire, manage, rehab and sell foreclosed property to ensure homeownership and rental housing are available to low- and moderate-income families.

The National Association of Realtors, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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