FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (download pdf version of FAQ's) 1. What is the CAR Housing Affordability Fund (H.A.F.)? The Housing Affordability Fund was established in 2002 as a charitable non-profit fund, whose purpose is to provide direct assistance to address the housing crisis in California. The state suffers from both a chronic long-term housing shortfall and a chronic housing affordability problem.
C.A.R. already has a long track record of achievements on the housing affordability front in the policy/legislative arena. The Housing Affordability Fund will support statewide and local efforts to make a direct impact on the housing affordability problem.
2.What is the H.A.F. Mission Statement? The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Housing Affordability Fund plays an active role in addressing the ongoing housing affordability crisis facing our state. H.A.F. will raise and distribute funds in partnership with local associations and other groups to promote housing and homeownership.
3. Are contributions to the H.A.F. tax-deductible? Yes. This is a charitable fund so your contributions as an individual/business are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. H.A.F. is exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of IRS Code.
4. Where can I send my contribution? We are happy to announce that our new H.A.F Online Donation Payment Service is now available. No matter where you are, you can make a (FREE) online payment anytime of the day. It provides a fast, secure, and convenient way to donate online, not only is this online bill payment system easy to use, but you can also sign up for a payment plan directly here, plus you'll receive an automatic e-mail alert when your payment is made to your account.
Or you can always mail your contributions to the adress below:
Make checks payable to: C.A.R. Housing Affordability Fund (or C.A.R.H.A.F.) CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Attn.: Alma Menchaca Member Information Department 525 S. Virgil Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90020
5. What types of contributions can the H.A.F. accept? The Housing Affordability Fund can accept contributions in the form of cash, checks, and credit card payments. For more information on the types of contributions H.A.F. accepts, please contact Julissa Gómez at (213) 739-8380 or firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Who may contribute to H.A.F.? The Housing Affordability Fund accepts tax-deductible charitable contributions from REALTORS®, other individuals as well as business and other organizations.
7. How will H.A.F. address housing affordability problems? What types of projects will H.A.F. support? The Housing Affordability Fund supports a wide variety of programs based on the stated need and participation of the local REALTOR® association. Some efforts have included:
· Down payment or closing cost assistance. · Employer assisted housing program. · These are just examples. Each local association is free to choose solutions that fit the needs of its community.
8. How can local associations request funds? Local associations may apply for funds by submitting a Local REALTOR® Association Funding Request Form . The Funding Request form asks local associations to provide details of the proposed project/program for which funds are requested: name of project, brief description, cost of project, other sources of funds, and how H.A.F. funds will be used .
9. Is there a deadline for funding request applications? Applications are received on an ongoing basis throughout the year. H.A.F. expects to respond to requests 30-45 days from the date of receipt. Applying associations will present their proposal at a scheduled Housing Affordablity Fund Committee Meeting. Applications received less than 30 days prior to a scheduled C.A.R business meeting, will be considered at the next scheduled C.A.R. Business Meeting. Contact Julissa Gómez for more information (213) 739-8380.
10. What are the obligations of a local association that has received a funding award from H.A.F.? Once the project is completed, the local association is required to submit a final report (and other materials as appropriate) that details the project and its final outcome. H.A.F. will publish a summary of the project on its Web site, and serve as a conduit to disseminate information about success stories to local associations across the state .
11. How will funds be allocated? Awards will be based upon merits of the proposed projects. No more than 10% of the fund balance may go towards an individual award without full C.A.R. Board of Directors approval. No more than 25% of the fund balance may be disbursed per year without full C.A.R. Board of Directors approval.
H.A.F. Expenditure Guidelines The following guidelines indicate the many ways in which H.A.F. funds may be used to advance the housing affordability interests of REALTORS® and REALTOR® organizations.
· H.A.F. funds must be used for charitable purposes that supports H.A.F.'s mission to play an active role in addressing the ongoing housing affordability crisis facing our state by promoting homeownership and addressing housing affordability issues statewide.
CANNOT be used for activities that directly or indirectly support or oppose a candidate for public office.
F.funds SHALL NOT be used to support or oppose the following: 1.) Ballot Measure Campaigns; 2.) REALTOR® Issue Mobilization Campaigns; 3.) Dues and Contributions to Coalitions; 4.) Receptions/Events/Conferences; 5.) Professional or Volunteer Advocacy; 6.) Advocacy and Policy Education; and/or 7.) Policy Research and Consulting Services. These functions are supported by IMPAC funds.
· For specific information on H.A.F. guidelines and procedures, contact HAF staff: Julissa Gómez at (213) 739-8380 or e-mail email@example.com
Self-Help Project Guidelines At no time during 2014 will H.A.F. commit more than 50% of the remaining 25% total annual disbursement to Self-Help projects (Including Habitat for Humanity).
Request for funds will not exceed the LESSER of: A) $50,000 or B) 10% of total existing funds. However, if a regional approach is made with a majority of local associations developing a large program, H.A.F. may grant funds up to 10% of the total existing funds. In addition, H.A.F. may consider granting a larger sum with consent of the Board of Directors.
HAF Guiding Principles The Housing Affordability Fund Committee will base its decisions upon the following guiding principles:
· In general, all programs should require matching funds to leverage C.A.R.H.A.F. funds. This includes grants to local associations. For example, a local association could request funds from C.A.R.H.A.F. for a project, but it should be able to obtain matching funds from other entities such as lenders, government, non-profits or other housing advocates. · Where possible, funds should be recoverable. · A REALTOR®'s services should be encouraged in all home purchase transactions. This wil require that REALTORS® become familiar with both the C.A.R.H.A.F. and the programs offered by C.A.R.H.A.F. partners.
12. Who do I contact for additional information? You may visit the C.A.R. H.A.F. website. Additionally, you may contact Julissa Gómez, Housing Opportunity Program Manager at (213) 739-8380 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org