The California Association of Realtors has raised $1.01 million this year for its Housing Affordability Fund, which is disbursed among local Realtor associations that request money to support housing affordability and housing supply initiatives. California Realtors have contributed about $2.3 million to the fund since its creation in January 2003.

The state association donated $500,000, Realtors throughout the state donated about $300,000, and local Realtor associations donated about $125,000 for the fund. “California’s long-standing affordability crisis poses a challenge to all, and Realtors and others in this industry are meeting that challenge through their generous donations to the (fund),” said Jim Hamilton, state association president.

Corporate donations this year include: Fannie Mae Foundation, $25,000; Cendant Real Estate Franchise Group, $15,000; R.E. Infolink, $15,000; San Diego Count Regional MLS, $10,000; and First American Corp., $5,000.

Since delivering its first grant to the Monterey County Housing Alliance Housing Opportunity Center in 2003, the fund has disbursed $461,060 to 20 projects, ranging from Habitat for Humanity to employer-assisted housing programs, according to an announcement this week. A complete description of programs supported by the fund is available online at http://www.car.org/index.php?id=MzM0NDY.

Highlights of programs funded this year include:

A partnership between the Bay East Association of Realtors and East Bay Habitat for Humanity was created to promote and support a 22-unit housing development in Livermore that will provide affordable housing and the opportunity for home ownership to low-income workforce families.

The Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors, through its advocacy efforts, has worked to promote a mixed-income, affordable-housing model designed to assist individuals who may require some assistance with daily activities, but are not in need of assisted living or skilled nursing. This independent, low-income elder housing will allocate 30 percent of the building’s units to older adults who are either living with HIV/AIDS, homeless or at risk of being homeless.

The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors has supported the construction of three new Habitat for Humanity Homes.

Tehama County and Shasta County Association of Realtors are funding infrastructure for the construction of 20 affordable houses for low-income workforce families. The project serves as the first phase of what will ultimately be a 64-home subdivision on 15 acres of donated land in Red Bluff, Calif.

Calaveras County Association of Realtors: Workforce Employer Assisted Housing was a model created to help first-time homebuyers with long-term employment in the community with down payment/closing cost assistance.

Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors – Habitat for Humanity: C.A.R.H.A.F. provided $5,000 of funding to support their $95,000 Realtor-supported fundraising effort to build four infill Habitat homes in South Los Angeles.

Santa Clara Association of Realtors: Two employer-assisted housing programs provided first-time homebuyers in the community and within the Association with the opportunity to receive down payment/closing cost assistance for those individuals who don’t qualify for low-moderate income program assistance.

Humboldt Association of Realtors – Land Trust Housing Development: An innovative collaboration between public and private agencies, this development model will maintain generations of affordable housing stock. C.A.R.H.A.F. funds were utilized in the development of the legal documents that will be used as part of the sales transactions.

Chico Association of Realtors – Habitat for Humanity: Realtors seeking to find immediate solutions to their local affordable housing needs tapped Habitat of Butte County for the delivery of two homes.

San Diego Association of Realtors: An affordable housing design competition will create design options for those communities seeking to develop creative, usable and attractive affordable housing solutions for their communities. The designs will be made available for Associations to utilize statewide.

South Lake Tahoe Association of Realtors – Land Trust Housing Development: Following the example of the Humboldt Association, South Lake Tahoe led the movement to secure land donated by the city and developed a collaborative team between public, private and non-profit agencies to develop a single-family home. This project is a pilot to what they hope will grow in perpetuity.

North San Diego County Association of Realtors – Manufactured Housing Coalition: Broadening the awareness of innovations in manufactured housing and its potential to serve as one of many affordable housing solutions, the North San Diego County Coalition is showcasing and sharing information on the potential that exists with this underutilized form of home ownership.

Oakland Association of Realtors: In an effort to continue to build on previous successes, the Oakland Association has partnered with other community-based education initiatives to begin growing the next generation of home buyers. Their education project is preparing future home buyers with financial literacy courses.

Tax-deductible donations may be sent to: California Association of Realtors Housing Affordability Fund, Attn: Finance Dept., California Association of Realtors, 525 S. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020. More information is available online at http://www.carhaf.org.

The state association is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 155,000 members.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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