The American Dream of homeownership is for everyone. That’s certainly understood by the Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® and its Housing Opportunities Committee (HOC).
While San Diego has the reputation of being one of the least affordable housing markets among the nation’s largest cities, that doesn’t mean the demand is not there, or that people with limited resources or other barriers don’t have the same dream of owning their own home to raise their families.
By its title, the Housing Opportunities Committee is given the mission of seeking out opportunities to help residents of all means by developing relationships with community-based housing partners and setting up programs to advise residents from all backgrounds about the many avenues available to become homeowners.
In recent years, the HOC has worked with national leaders like the Housing Opportunities Collaborative to offer free clinics with REALTOR® counselors to assist distressed homeowners who saw dim prospects for keeping their homes due to the crash of the housing market. The HOC performed an important public service by presenting options for them to avoid foreclosure, if possible.
The HOC has also partnered with government advocates like State Sen. Joel Anderson for first-time homebuyer workshops. At these events, a panel of experts present education resources to answer questions about becoming “purchase-ready” and learn about special down payment assistance programs, loan products, grants, and tax credits.
Because different segments of the community have specialized questions about their prospects for homeownership, the HOC has also sponsored a first-time buyer workshop that was conducted in both English and Spanish, and a workshop that offered translations services in Asian languages including Chinese, Korean, and Tagalog.
In addition, the HOC has conducted several workshops for first-time buyers who are active-duty military or veterans. These events assisted families with information about using their VA home loans in addition to becoming purchase-ready and choosing a REALTOR®. Plans are also in the works to present a Senior Housing Fair this fall to assist older residents with decisions about selling their existing home or buying a property to suit their needs and lifestyles in their golden years.
Most recently, the HOC is coordinating the Better Block project in Barrio Logan, which is a demonstration tool that rebuilds an area using grassroots efforts to show the potential to create a great walkable, vibrant neighborhood center. The project is a “living blueprint” for the community to envision businesses, landscaping, parks, art, and entertainment for the area. City Councilman David Alvarez, along with residents and volunteers, community leaders, planners, clergy, teachers, students, artists, and businesses, came together recently for a community workshop.
Feedback gathered at the workshop will be used by Team Better Block to plan, design and measure the impacts of better block as an alternative to the typical urban planning process. Volunteers will come together over two weekends in October to carry out the plan to build the block. The big reveal and block party will take place on November 13th.
SDAR has received commendations from the County of San Diego for helping distressed homeowners, and grants from the National Association of REALTORS® to continue to offer workshops.
To learn more or to join the Housing Opportunities Committee or volunteer at future events that benefit our community, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (858) 715-8000.
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