July course hosted association leadership from throughout the Chicago region
This summer, MPC co-taught two National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) courses on Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH). Sponsored by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Partnership for HomeOwnership Foundation, the course was available to association leadership in the Chicago region in July and Springfield-area leadership in August.
Developed by NAR, the course covers examples of EAH from all over the country. Illinois examples of successful EAH programs and initiatives are abundant, partly due to the state incentives employers are eligible to receive through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). Employers receive a state tax credit equal to 50 cents on every dollar they spend on a housing program for eligible employees. This incentive has encouraged Illinois employers to offer EAH as part of their benefits package.
Also unique to Illinois, and especially the Chicago region, are local nonprofit housing counseling organizations who are paired with employers to administer EAH programs by providing pre-purchase counseling, group education classes, and assistance in applying to IHDA for the tax credits. REALTORS® can work closely with nonprofit partners to offer their services for EAH and other buyers.
Both classes included REALTORS® and other real estate professionals, including nonprofit housing counseling organizations and community based lenders. The focus of each class was to explore current workforce housing trends and challenges, introduce EAH as a solution for some workforce housing challenges, and have participants work on building a “team” to serve employers and their workforces. Those with different roles in the home buying process were able to brainstorm together, thus creating a healthy discussion as well as forming new connections.
Participants included non-profit housing groups, lenders and REALTORS.
MPC partnered with Chicago-area REALTOR® Lisa Thompson to teach both courses. As a successful example of leading a team approach, Lisa works with local nonprofits and lenders to develop incentives for EAH homebuyers. She also stays tuned in to other funding sources which may complement EAH for eligible buyers. City, state, and federal fnds are often available, for which low and moderate income households are eligible.
MPC recognizes the benefits to the homebuyer when employers, housing counseling agencies, REALTORS®, lenders, and others involved in the homebuying process work closely together. A strong team, happy homeowners, and well-executed home closings are the result.
EAH benefits can include one-on-one housing counseling, financial assistance, or workshops for homebuyers or owners, such as foreclosure prevention workshops. Businesses can choose to offer their employees one or all of these benefits or develop their own customized EAH plans.
For more information, please contact MPC Project Manager Lillie Sellers.