State Roundup: Colorado, Florida, and Minnesota

July 1, 2006

Colorado: Don’t go

Northglenn, an inner-ring Denver suburb, thinks good examples of remodeling can help attract residents who might otherwise look for larger homes in newer suburbs. A development corporation it launched in 2004 is remodeling two homes to show how livable the city’s small, older homes can be. One will get a 400-square foot master suite; the other a second story. Both homes will be available for sale, but the main goal is to plant the idea that the city’s stock can be retooled. City financial help to home owners who remodel is part of the package, too. Northglenn gets high marks for this approach to its housing issue, says Byron Koste of the University of Colorado. Koste’s remarks and a summary of the initiative appeared in the May 21 Denver Post.

Florida: Please come

Although Orlando has traditionally been billed as affordable compared with other big resort areas, Central Florida employers say rising prices lock workers out of housing and make it difficult to attract employees to the area. The $259,700 median home price in Orlando and surrounding areas puts home ownership out of reach for many households, and with unemployment at 2.8 percent, employers face a hard time filling jobs if workers leave for cheaper housing. “A lot of people can’t afford to come to these areas to work,” economist Mark Vitner told the Orlando Sentinel, which reported on the problem May 14.

Minnesota: Help sought

Addressing affordable housing is more than feel-good for REALTORS®; it’s crucial to household and community stability, area quality of life, and future economic growth. That’s the message in a joint affordable housing statement four REALTOR® boards adopted in May. “This policy will help us when advocating to elected officials and the public about affordable housing by making our position clear, and it will help us in educating our members on the necessity of affordable housing,” says June Wiener, ABR®, CRS®, president of the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®. Other signatory boards: North Metro REALTORS® Association, Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®, and Southern Twin Cities Association of REALTORS®.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.

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