Housing Conference in Chicago To Help People Buy Homes

Rising home prices, increased housing costs, and today’s tightened mortgage market have put homeownership out of reach for many working families.

In fact, nearly 40 percent of Americans believe there is a shortage of available affordable housing, according to a recent survey by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

The survey also found 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 it’s difficult to find a home that they both like and can afford.

To promote more affordable housing solutions for the nation’s workforce, hundreds of housing advocates from across the country are coming together Monday for the first-ever conference on employer-assisted housing benefits.

“Employer-Assisted Housing: Bring Workers Home” is taking place in Chicago at the InterContinental Hotel. 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.

Presentations and other materials from the conference are available for free on the conference Web site.

“REALTORS® build communities and care about the lack of housing opportunities available to America’s low- to moderate-income working families, many of whom can’t find affordable housing near their workplace,” says NAR President Dick Gaylord.

The benefits of employer-assistant housing can take the form of homebuying workshops, financial counseling, or loans for down payment or closing costs that are forgivable over a period of time. Such programs 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.

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.

NAR is sponsoring the event in partnership with the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, Illinois Association of REALTORS ®, Metropolitan Planning Council, National Association of Counties, National Housing Conference and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Source: NAR

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