Three Rivers sponsors conference for Joliet-area landlords

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(l to r) TRAR CEO David McClintock, Joliet Director of Neighborhood Services Alfredo Melesio, Sue Miller, Local GAD Gideon Blustein, TRAR President Jim Sim

The Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) helped facilitate an area landlord conference for the City of Joliet and McHenry REALTOR® Sue Miller gave an encouraging keynote message July 11 and 12.

About 400 Joliet-area landlords attended the event, which TRAR helped fund through a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Diversity Initiative Grant.

The City of Joliet reached out to Local Governmental Affairs Director Gideon Blustein in December 2015 for help in securing a speaker who could discuss: the local rental market, the financial benefits of capital investments/beautification and new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) guidance on criminal background checks for housing providers.

After a short search, the TRAR Board identified Miller, Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell’s McHenry office, a continuing education and pre-license trainer who owns or manages more than 50 commercial and residential units. NAR awarded the grant to cover Miller’s speaking fees and to help promote the REALTOR® brand. Illinois REALTORS® can help the housing community interpret and practice diversity initiatives, understand local, state and federal fair housing laws and understand HUD’s concerns about criminal background checks.

Conference attendees included licensed REALTORS®, and landlords with a wide range of  managing responsibilities: from one unit to hundreds of units. All attendees walked away with a better understanding of HUD’s new guidance and good news about their market. “You got a 12 percent raise this year, that’s good news!” stated Miller when referencing the increased values in the Joliet market. With only a 1.4 month absorption rate in the rental market and a limited number of rentals, she said beautifying and investing in properties now will lead to stronger neighborhoods and higher rents.

Greater Gateway uses grant to help Collinsville housing project

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The Greater Gateway Association of REALTORS® (GGAR) presented a $1,500 check to the Collinsville Community Collaboration June 29 to help host their first Housing Opportunity and Community Spotlight Seminar.

GGAR Chief Executive Officer Rob Wigton, GGAR President and RE/MAX Alliance Owner Tammy Owens and Illinois REALTORS® Local Government Affairs Director Kyle Anderson presented a check to organizer Donna Green of Green Home Solutions, who’s also an affiliate member.

GGAR applied for and received an NAR Housing Opportunity Grant through the My REALTOR® Party.


Elgin Boys & Girls Club gets shoes, support from Fox Valley REALTORS®


Fox Valley REALTORS® prepare shoe donations for use by children at the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin.

The REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley (RAFV) partnered with St. Charles area schools to donate more than 150 pairs of new or gently used running shoes last week to the Summer Running Club for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elgin.

Fox Valley members are also providing incentives for children who participate in the running program, such as water bottles and T-shirts. At the end of the summer, boys and girls who run in a 5K race will go on a shopping trip with RAFV members to purchase new shoes, reports RAFV Director of Communications and Social Media Lisa Ayres.

A recent article in the Kane County Chronicle featured RAFV members Julie Kellenberger, Tracey Carlstedt, Diana Denton Szmurlo and Betty Ebert-Rylko.

The partnership between RAFV and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elgin is an example of ways that local Illinois REALTOR® associations are supporting the partnership between the National Association of REALTORS® and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


Oak Park Association concerned about changes to River Forest historic preservation ordinance

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The Oak Park Area Association of REALTORS® weighed in on a proposal to amend a historic preservation ordinance in the Village of River Forest.

The current historic preservation program identifies nearly 300 properties as “historically or architecturally significant.”  The proposed changes involve those properties by:

  • Requiring owners of significant properties to discuss the proposed demolition before the village’s Historic Preservation Commission, allow comment and suggest alternatives to tearing down the home.
  • Requiring homeowners seeking a demolition permit for a significant property to wait up to 180 days for the permit for a demolition.

Oak Park Association of REALTORS logoLast September, the association expressed concerns about a delay being too long; the initial proposal called for a nine-month delay. The holding costs of a new owner/builder could add up significantly with an unduly long delay period. Also, the association sought clarity on the length of this village-imposed delay so prospective buyers would have certainty in knowing the process.

At a public meeting Feb. 22, the River Forest Board of Trustees grappled with these issues, heard from homeowners and debated the proposal. The REALTORS®’ concerns were noted and generally agreed with. Mike Scobey of IAR staff stated at the hearing that the proposed delay should not become “a de facto prohibition on demolitions.”

Revisions to the proposal are expected and a vote by the village board could take place on March 14.

RASI donates playground grant to East St. Louis center

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RASI board members presented a $2,200 check to the Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation to help build a playground.

The REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois (RASI) was recently awarded a My REALTOR® Party Placemaking grant from the National Association of REALTORS® to assist in the development of a playground for the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center in East St. Louis, IL.

The playground is part of a center expansion that includes the construction of eight classrooms and a playground that is open to all children and families.  RASI was the first association to make a donation to the park that the JJK Center board hopes to have installed by the beginning of next school year.

My REALTOR® Party Grant Coordinator Jim Clayton assisted in the grant development along with Local GAD Kyle Anderson.

The check was presented to the JJK Center by RASI President Doug Payne along with Account Executive Deb Frazier and RASI Board members.