REALTORS® must spread word about $60K for housing assistance for June tornado victims

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The National Association of REALTORS® set aside $60,000 to provide mortgage and rent assistance to victims of June 22 tornadoes in northern Illinois through the NAR REALTORS® Relief Foundation.

REALTORS® can help distribute applications locally so victims can apply for one-time grants of up to $1,500 for housing relief (one month of mortgage or rent payment). The deadline for submissions is Oct. 1.

Tornado victims who need money to help pay for their daily needs can also apply for help from the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation. Relief is limited to $500 per application, and victims must qualify for need-based awards. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 1.

The National Weather Service has now confirmed 12 tornadoes occurred in northern Illinois on the evening of June 22, with the most damage in Coal City (Grundy County), Braidwood (Will County) and the Woodhaven Campground in Sublette (Lee County). A total of 14 people were reported injured but no one was killed. Members of local REALTOR® associations are helping where they can.

The Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer David McClintock says members have helped with clean-up efforts but the low inventory of unoccupied rental properties has made it difficult to help those who can’t live in their homes until repairs are made.

“This storm has been challenging,” McClintock says. “But the cities impacted (Coal City and Braidwood) were much better prepared to respond than 20 months ago (when another tornado struck Coal City). The police and fire departments immediately went into action and were able to detour traffic out of the affected areas.”

Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales at highest level in nine years, NAR says

Pending home sales rose higher in May, according to the latest Pending Home Sales Index released today from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Edging 0.9 percent higher than last month and 10.4 percent than a year ago, the pending sale index is at its highest level since April 2006, NAR reports. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said solid job creation and increased sales for both existing-homes and new construction homes are pointing to a strong market, but rising prices could ultimately impact affordability. Read more from NAR.

In other headlines:

U.S. pending home sales rise to nine-year high in May – Reuters

The Waiting Game for Millennials May Be Over – NAR Daily Real Estate News

Morning Minute: Chicago makes list of housing markets with healthiest outlooks

Chicago, Cincinnati and Cleveland are three major metros with the healthiest housing market outlooks, according to the latest Health of Housing Markets report from Nationwide Economics. The report determines housing market health by looking at employment, demographics, the mortgage market and house prices. Read more from Nationwide Economics.

In other headlines:

CFPB Proposes Mortgage Rule Delay – NAR Daily Real Estate News

4 reasons why now is a good time to buy a home – HousingWire

REALTORS® can listen to IAR’s TRID legal webinar

IAR members who log in and listen to the audio recording of today’s Legal Webinar “Are you ready for TRID?” will be better prepared to answer questions from clients in the coming weeks.

Members can also view the PowerPoint presentation that goes along with the audio recording.

In either case, members will be better prepared whether the changes in federal legislation take effect on the originally scheduled date of Aug. 1 or on Oct. 3, the latest extension proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week.

IAR, local associations ready to help latest Illinois tornado victims

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While local REALTOR® associations work with community leaders to find the best ways to help this week’s tornado victims in communities like Coal City, Sublette and Mendota, IAR members and non-members can also contribute to the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation (IRRF).

According to the National Weather Service, nine tornadoes hit northern Illinois communities as storms raked across the state Monday evening and early Tuesday morning.  Numerous minor injuries and power outages were reported, but no deaths. The largest tornado was an EF-3 in Coal City (Grundy County) with winds of 136 to 165 miles per hour, reported ABC-7 Eyewitness News. An EF-2 tornado struck a campground in Sublette (Lee County) causing extensive damage, while an EF-1 hit south of Mendota (LaSalle County).  On Tuesday, Governor Bruce Rauner declared Grundy and Lee counties as disaster areas.

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TRAR members helping in Coal City area

Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer David McClintock says individual members of the local association have already volunteered during Coal City clean-up efforts. Coal City resident and REALTOR® Andy Cook of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Morris told McClintock the expected number of volunteers for Friday will be “significant.” REALTOR® Debbie Bell of Baird & Warner in Plainfield spent a day helping a Morris attorney whose house took on water. McClintock adds that he will deliver a donation to the Community Foundation of Grundy County on behalf of TRAR for $1,000 today.

“Later next week, we will consider other forms of gifts based on a report from our members of what’s still needed,” says McClintock.

As more information on local tornado relief efforts becomes available, IAR will share it here.

Several ways for all to help

IRRF, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established by IAR last year to help Illinois residents living in communities affected by natural disasters. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online or via mail: IRRF, 522 S. Fifth St., Springfield, IL 62701. Victims can apply for $500 in assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition, the NAR offers the REALTORS® Relief Foundation offers housing-related assistance to victims of disasters. You can donate to it online or by mail (REALTORS® Relief Foundation, c/o NAR, 430 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611).