CHICAGO, October 06, 2008
Nearly 40 percent of Americans believe there is a shortage of available affordable housing, according to a recent National Association of RealtorsÂ® survey. To help combat this trend and promote more affordable housing solutions for the nationâ€™s workforce, hundreds of housing advocates from across the country are coming together today for the first-ever conference on employer-assisted housing benefits.
The one-day Employer-Assisted Housing: Bring Workers Home conference is taking place at the InterContinental Hotel here. The conference will highlight case studies of successful EAH programs from public and private sector employers and local governments and allow key stakeholders to connect and explore opportunities to work together to help increase awareness about EAH benefits.
â€œRealtorsÂ® build communities and care about the lack of housing opportunities available to Americaâ€™s low- to moderate-income working families, many of whom canâ€™t find affordable housing near their workplace,â€ said NAR President Dick Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif. â€œThis groundbreaking event offers a unique opportunity for RealtorsÂ®; national, state and local housing leaders; local and county government officials; and business professionals to come together to work with organizations to help them develop EAH benefits for their employees. Working together, we will help even more families realize the dream of owning a home.â€
Rising home prices, increased housing costs, and todayâ€™s tightened mortgage market have put homeownership out of reach for many working families. In fact, an NAR survey found that eight out of 10 Americans believe that having enough money for down payment and closing costs is an obstacle to purchasing a home. Another 69 percent think itâ€™s difficult to find a home that they both like and can afford.
EAH benefits âˆ’ which can take the form of home buying workshops, financial counseling or loans for down payment or closing costs that are forgivable over a period of time âˆ’ can help meet the needs of both employers and their workforce. Workers achieve their dreams of owning a home while employers benefit from increased employee morale and loyalty and reduced turnover, which leads to lower training and hiring costs.
Conference session topics include why and how to create an EAH benefit, how to advance EAH benefits through partnerships and programs, successful EAH programs in action, and tips for advocating and promoting EAH benefits.
The conference keynote speakers are national housing consultants Beverly Barnes and Beth Marcus; Sharon H. Douglas, vice president of human resources and chief people person, Aflac; and Carl Guardino, Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Other speakers include Ellen Sahli, Chicago Housing Commissioner; and RealtorÂ® John Veneris, NAR region 7 vice president.
The National Association of RealtorsÂ® is sponsoring the event in partnership with the Chicago Association of RealtorsÂ®, Illinois Association of RealtorsÂ®, Metropolitan Planning Council, National Association of Counties, National Housing Conference and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
For more information about the Employer-Assisted Housing: Bring Workers Home conference, visit www.realtor.org/eahconference.
For more information, contact:
Sara Weis 202/383-1013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bennington VT, Press Release