The National Association of Realtors (NAR) awarded grants to 16 local and state Realtor associations to promote and expand local affordable housing projects. NAR donated a total of $50,950 through its Housing Opportunity Fund grants program. The Housing Opportunity Fund was created in 2006 to increase local affordable housing opportunities. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded twice per year. These grants are the latest in the more than 100 grants worth nearly $400,000 NAR’s awarded in the program’s history. “Despite the recent drop in home prices there is still a lack of decent, affordable housing in many of our cities and towns,” said NAR president Vicki Cox Golder. “Realtors build communities and understand how a shortage of affordable housing can affect the local area. NAR’s Housing Opportunity Fund grants help us raise awareness about the issue and make a real difference in communities across the country.” The grants can be used to fund housing symposia, home buyer education or housing fairs, counseling and financial literacy efforts, down payment or closing cost financial assistance programs, public opinion surveys and Realtor affordable housing education. Write to Austin Kilgore.