By Laurie Cadigan
Without the housing market spectrum, from lower-end to high-end markets, our industry suffers, and so does the general economy. Entry-level housing and getting new buyers into the market are essential to the evolution of the economy, and despite unprecedented challenges, we understand the need for change. Our Association is doing everything we can to improve the real estate environment and minimize the challenges.
Earlier in the year, MAR supported the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association’s (CHAPA) outreach efforts to preserve Chapter 40B, the state’s affordable housing law. We encouraged members to invite their customers and clients to attend the several community meetings CHAPA held around the state. We also joined them in sponsoring a statewide home ownership conference in May at the College of Holy Cross. Thoughtful visions were discussed, including reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; neighborhood stabilization; and the Community Reinvestment Act.
Then MAR represented our position nationally, first by way of our 2006 president David Wluka, who was a featured speaker at an Affordable Workforce Housing Forum presented by the Urban Land Institute in Orlando in early spring. We also supported NAR’s Regional Workforce Housing Forum held July 28 in Boston. The forum outlined the nature of the workforce housing challenge in our region and highlighted best practices. It brought employers, REALTORS®, city planners, local elected and appointed officials, and state Housing Finance Agency representatives together to discuss these important issues.
Our efforts for affordable workforce housing and the stabilization of the housing market in Massachusetts culminates in 2011 with MAR and MassHousing co-hosting the “Future of Affordable Home Ownership in Massachusetts” to be held on October 17, 2011 at the DCU Center in Worcester, a day prior to the MAR Conference & Tradeshow. Leaders of industry and government will gather to discuss how to create the necessary changes to improve the current market conditions.
These are critical times and I’m proud to be part of an organization that is putting itself forward through its leadership and alliances to work toward improving the housing market and our state’s economy. As a group we are powerful and can help create change. As individuals we are proud to support the Association that supports our industry. And certainly, one of the ways is to answer the important REALTOR® Calls for Action when they come in your e-mail box.