Realtors® as Champions of Attainable Housing
Vail Board of REALTORS® Foundation supports local housing initiatives.
The financial benefits of purchasing and owning a home are welcome and measurable. However, there are immeasurable emotional advantages beyond value appreciation and property tax deductions. The pride of homeownership and the feeling of security are huge intangible benefits.
Realtors® advocate for homeownership for all on a national, state, and local level. Realtors® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), an organization with a 110-year history of advocating and protecting the rights of property buyers and sellers.
Realtors® and Realtor® organizations believe that everyone deserves a fair chance at housing. Locally, the Vail Board of REALTORS® (VBR) and its charitable arm, the Vail Board of REALTORS® Foundation (VBRF), support efforts to cultivate housing opportunities within our community.
“These two organizations are a strong team in cultivating and supporting the vision and desire to see all Eagle County residents gain access to stable housing and to have the opportunity to build home equity,” says Vail Board of Realtors® Foundation Chair Dawn Mullin. “This not only provides physical and emotional security, but it also greatly deepens valuable connections in our community.”
Providing a Helping Hand
The VBR has made several contributions to the Eagle County Loan Fund, a Down Payment Assistance program supporting our local workforce in purchasing homes. This program has been well-received and well-used in the challenging local residential real estate market.
Through its granting process, the VBRF supports local organizations working toward attainable and stable housing goals - whether it's permanent or temporary housing.
In early 2023, the VBRF supported a request for rental assistance for teachers with a local early childhood center. In 2022 it donated funds to the Volcanic View Cooperative (Co-op) in Dotsero to support the mobile home residents’ desire to become Eagle County’s first resident-owned
community. While the Co-op was outbid, it was a valiant effort to achieve homeownership.
“As the charitable arm, the VBRF is passionate about making its impact on a local level within our community and touching as many lives as possible in accomplishing the desire to attain the precious and sought-after goal of homeownership,” says Mullin.
The VBRF regularly supports Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley, a nonprofit organization helping our local workforce realize the dream of homeownership.
Habitat homeowners must complete sweat equity hours by volunteering their time to work on their own homes - and the homes of their Habitat neighbors. They also pay an affordable monthly mortgage payment, not exceeding 30 percent of the household income.
“Financial support from grants, individuals, and businesses allow our organization to build homes in partnership with homeowners and then issue home loans to our buyers at zero interest,” says Habitat’s Director of Development Elyse Howard.
Habitat reached the milestone of completing its one hundredth Eagle County home in 2022. However, as characteristic of the challenging local real estate market, the number of applications outnumber the number of planned homes. Over the past year, Habitat received 170 applications for 24 homes being built in 2023.
“Last year, under the guidance of our Board, we set the aspirational goal to double the number of homes we will build between 2022 and 2024, “ adds Howard. “We will build 40 homes in this three-year timeframe.”
Promoting Healthy Communities
In addition to the financial advantages of homeownership, Realtors® recognize the emotional and mental benefits of homeownership - and strive to support a healthy community.
Workers essential to the health of a community – teachers, emergency workers, retail workers, etc. – perform better in their job when they can live in the communities in which they work.
Families as a whole also benefit from homeownership. Studies show that parents can spend less time in a state of being stressed and more time with their children. Parents' ability to feel stable significantly impacts children's behavioral issues, educational success, and future economic success.
The benefits of purchasing and owning a home cannot be defined in a simple manner or without deep emotion,” explains Mullin. “ Ask any Realtor, and they will tell you that to be able to help someone buy their first home is one of the most rewarding and heartwarming experiences they have ever had.”
For those who are ready to purchase a home, Realtors® can help them navigate the financial, legal, and community aspects of the most complex and consequential transactions most will ever make.
Continuing the Support
Beyond financial support, both the VBR and VBRF help in a myriad of ways, including volunteer days with Habitat for Humanity, raising awareness for Housing Eagle County initiatives and promoting the benefits of local home-buying programs. The VBR also provides education and resources to local Realtors® so they can better guide their clients.
“Whether it’s through educational programs, providing pertinent information, and resources,” says Mullin. “Realtors truly want to have a positive and long-term impact on our local community.”
Recognizing the severity and hardship of our local housing crisis led to the VBRF recently restructuring its mission statement - and narrowing its focus to attainable housing solutions.
The VBRF will continue its fundraising through multiple venues, like events and member campaigns. While VBR Realtor® and Affiliate members provide the majority of funding for the IRS-designated 501(c)(3) organization, the VBRF also accepts public support.
Both organizations are committed to furthering efforts to smooth the path to homeownership for Eagle County residents.
“One thing that is certain, the VBR and VBRF continue to speak up and fight the battle for affordable housing and homeownership rights,” adds Mullin.
See how the Vail Board of Realtors® Foundation supports attainable housing efforts in our community by visiting www.vbr.net/vail-board-of-realtors-foundation.