The grants--whose criteria have been loosely defineddeliberately--are expected to act as seed money to launch evenlarger initiatives in a particular locality, Lora McCray, managerof NAR's Housing Opportunity Program, tells GlobeSt.com. "We wantedto fund programs that would have a greater impact in a particulararea," she says.

NAR did not want to prescribe how the grants would be used;conceivably a grant could fund a study for the appropriate modelfor affordable housing in a particular city or area, or be used tosupport multifamily development, or to establish an affordablehousing down payment fund or a land trust.

The housing grant program is part of a steady progression of NARinitiatives in this area, McCray adds. Since 2003, through variousprograms and summits, the organization has been helping brokerscreate more affordable housing opportunities. The program was namedin honor of Ira Gribin, a former NAR president and affordablehousing advocate.

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Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy has been writing about commercial real estate at GlobeSt.com for more than ten years, covering the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics. She's a nerd so favorite examples of the former include accounting standards, Basel III and what Congress is brewing.