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NAR, Mayors Recognize Irvine, Calif., Efforts to Educate Public Officials on Affordability

Washington, – December 08, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — The National Association of Realtors® and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have named Irvine, Calif., an Ambassador City. The city was designated for its Public Officials 101 initiative, a homeownership education program for Orange County mayors, council members and city managers.

The Public Officials 101 initiative was developed by the Orange County Association of Realtors® and the Orange County Business Council. The initiative provides officials with information on the local housing market and offers tools and resources to help increase workforce housing opportunities through partnerships or policy change.

“Realtors® build communities and know that many American cities lack an adequate supply of affordable housing for working families,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. “The Public Officials 101 initiative is a positive first step to help raise awareness of the area’s critical housing needs and build support among Orange County officials. I commend the city of Irvine and OCAR for working together to identify and promote solutions to the city’s high cost of housing.”

Orange County is among the most expensive communities in the country, with a median existing-home price of $517,300 in the third quarter of 2008, well above the national median price of $191,600 in the same period. In 2007, the OCBC released a broad study of the area’s housing affordability, which found that the high cost of housing and critical lack of affordable housing had resulted in increased congestion from commuters and that many of the area’s residents aged 25-44 were leaving the county to find affordability elsewhere.

The Public Officials 101 initiative will help educate officials on these housing issues and others as well as offer solutions to effectively increase workforce housing opportunities. The first Public Officials 101 training will take place in February 2009; officials from all 34 cities within Orange County have been invited to attend.

At an event today, Realtor® Bonnie Boyd, 2008 chair of the NAR Housing Opportunity Advisory Board, joined Dustin Joyce, Council for the New American City, U.S. Conference of Mayors, in presenting the Ambassador for Cities plaque to Irvine Assistant City Manager Sharon Landers and 2008 OCAR President Don Readinger.

NAR and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, through its Council on the New American City, launched the Ambassadors for Cities program in 2003 to encourage cities and local Realtor® associations to form partnerships to promote affordable housing and homeownership.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Sara Weis
sweis (at) realtors (dot) org


With more than 1.3 million members, the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is the voice for real estate. Visit to see how our real estate resources can benefit you.

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The magazine advances real estate best practices, brings expert insight to significant trends, and provides REALTORS® with timely decision-making tools on business purchases and strategies.


Walt Molony