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 donations to 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 Make My Donation? 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 donation check 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. Who may donate to H.A.F.? Anyone. The Housing Affordability Fund accepts tax-deductible charitable donations from REALTORS®, other individuals as well as business and other organizations.
6. 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, statewide and local programs thru the participation of local associations. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.