April 26, 2021
Contact-less merchandise pick up is available at SPAAR during office business hours. Due to Covid, the SPAAR building is closed to members through June 30, 2021. Email spaar@spaar.com or call (651) 776-6000 with any questions.
In this issue of SPAAR's eNews:
  • Spotlight on SPAAR: REALTORS® Charitable Foundation grants aim to help improve communities
  • Learn about REALTORS® Charitable Foundation grants and scholarships and note their approaching deadlines
  • Fair Housing Month activities continue through April and beyond
  • Take part in the Coon Rapids Realtor® Forum on April 28
  • North Metro Cable TV interviews SPAAR members about housing market and Realtor® growth
  • MN-RPAC to host phone bank in early May
  • Pioneer Press publishes decision to grant preliminary injunction of Saint Paul's S.A.F.E. tenant protections ordinance
  • Rent control: seeking Realtor® input and involvement
  • SPAAR is seeking members for a new industry expert database
  • FHFA announces extension of COVID-related loan flexibilities
  • Now open: NAR's 2022 Committee application process
  • Housing Market Statistics
  • Join SPAAR's Facebook group for members only
  • Welcome, new members!
Spotlight on SPAAR: REALTORS® Charitable Foundation grants aim to help improve communities
SPAAR's REALTORS® Charitable Foundation grant opportunity is now underway. Hear from Foundation President Brianne Lawrence as well as one of the 2020 recipients and what they have to say.


SPAAR's weekly videos highlight timely news, events, member features and key information to help benefit members in their business. As such, these videos complement content also shared in SPAAR's newsletters, on its website and on social media.
Learn about REALTORS® Charitable Foundation grants and scholarships and note their approaching deadlines
Applications are now being accepted for the annual REALTORS® Charitable Foundation grant, which will be awarded to the selected recipient(s) from those who qualify.

SPAAR has awarded more than $300,000 to seven recipients in the past three years.
 
Applications will be considered based on the criteria that it includes one or more of SPAAR’s four primary areas of focus, called Pillars, intended to create Better Agents and Better Communities.

The Pillars are:
▪ Advocacy 
▪ Community Engagement
▪ Professional Development
▪ Communications

Learn more about the REALTORS® Charitable Foundation grant opportunities and to find the application to apply today. The grant deadline is May 14, 2021.
SPAAR’s REALTORS® Charitable Foundation in 2021 with an April 30 deadline will award up to five $2,000 scholarships to the children or grandchildren of current SPAAR members who will enroll as new or continuing students in college or trade school.

Click here for complete information and to apply. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2021. Have questions about REALTORS® Charitable Foundation scholarships? Email spaar@spaar.com.
Fair Housing Month activities continue through April and beyond
SPAAR’s Fair Housing Month activities continue through April and beyond. Click to learn about Fair Housing activities or take the Fair Housing Pledge virtually.

Fair Housing Month Better & Better podcast special with Minnesota Housing
Kasey Kier, Assistant Commissioner at MN Housing, came on the show for a special Fair Housing Month episode! Kasey spoke with us about Minnesota Housing's mission, their strategies for reducing housing disparities in Minnesota, current housing programs, and much more. Hear the Better & Better podcast here.
Check out SPAAR's new book series with discussion on The Color of Law
SPAAR’s Professionalism Committee on May 6 will kick-off a four-part morning discussion series on The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, which investigates how federal policy imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide and restricted homeownership and wealth building.

Sign up for the book series through your member portal under the events tab, upcoming meetings here.

Discussions will be led by SPAAR Realtor® member Anita Hill. A limited number of shared copies of The Color of Law are available. To borrow a copy, email spaar@spaar.com.
Take part in the Coon Rapids Realtor® Forum on April 28
SPAAR and the City of Coon Rapids are hosting an event to provide local Realtors® with information that is informative and helpful as they assist homebuyers and property owners to buy and sell properties in Coon Rapids. The City of Coon Rapids wants to ensure that Realtors® representing Coon Rapids are well-versed and comfortable about the city’s many assets, programs and projects that make this a desirable place to live and own property.

This educational offering is recognized by the Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce as satisfying 2.0 hours of Continuing Real Estate Education requirements. Register here for the Coon Rapids Realtor® Forum event.
North Metro Cable TV interviews SPAAR members about housing market and Realtor® growth
SPAAR members Amy Peterson and Nichole Hayden were recently interviewed on North Metro Cable TV to discuss the current Twin Cities housing market and also comment on the current increase of newer Realtors® to the industry. Nichole is new to the industry as of late 2020 whereas Amy has been a Realtor® for 17 years. Tune into the story here.
MN-RPAC to host phone bank in early May
MN-RPAC will be hosting a phone bank to raise funds on May 3-6. This will be a Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® vs Minneapolis Area REALTORS® phone bank. Contact Megan Rossbach, the MN-RPAC Coordinator, at mrossbach@mnrealtor.com with questions or for more information. 
Pioneer Press publishes decision to grant preliminary injunction of Saint Paul's S.A.F.E. tenant protections ordinance
On April 19, Federal District Court Judge Paul Magnuson granted a preliminary injunction of the Saint Paul Stable, Accessible Fair & Equitable (S.A.F.E.) tenant protections ordinance. As a result, the City of Saint Paul is prohibited from enforcing the ordinance pending a trial on the claims made in the lawsuit. More information can be found here about the S.A.F.E. Tenant Protections Ordinance, as published in the Pioneer Press.

Here is a SPAAR survey on tenant protections. Your input is appreciated!
Rent control: seeking Realtor® input and involvement
A coalition of community groups has announced a petition to put Rent Control on the ballot in Saint Paul this November. The group, Housing Equity Now St. Paul, is proposing to cap rent increases on all residential properties in the City to three percent each year.
 
Rent Control has been tried around the U.S. and economists agree it produces a net negative for the cities where it has been implemented. Rent Control reduces the supply of adequate rental housing, investment in new rental housing development plummets, and maintenance deteriorates because the financial incentives to maintain a quality property are no longer present.

Voice your opinion on this important issue via SPAAR’s Rent Control Survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SaintPaulRentControl

If you or a Realtor® you know would be willing to assist SPAAR in efforts to gather information on Rent Control in Saint Paul, please contact either of SPAAR's Government Affairs Directors:
SPAAR is seeking members for a new industry expert database
SPAAR’s Communications Committee is creating a Real Estate Industry Expert database made up of SPAAR members who are interested in having their contact information on file. The database will serve as a resource when SPAAR needs experts for articles, speakers, videos, media inquiries and more.
 
SPAAR staff will work with experts to ensure messaging and information align with Realtor® values and policies; however, this could be a great way for members to share their expertise and be a resource within the greater real estate community.
 
Interested to participate or learn more? Contact Jennifer Kovacich, SPAAR’s Communications Director, at jkovacich@spaar.com.
FHFA announces extension of COVID-related loan flexibilities
As recently shared by Minnesota Realtors®, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend some temporary loan origination flexibilities until May 31, 2021. All temporary flexibilities were originally set to expire on April 30, 2021.

Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate-term refinance loans are among the flexibilities that will now be extended through May 31, 2021.

Temporary flexibilities related to employment verification, condominium project reviews, and expanded power of attorney are being allowed to expire as scheduled on April 30, 2021. Due to low usage of the temporary flexibilities, FHFA expects to retire all temporary selling flexibilities on May 31, 2021.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, FHFA has actively monitored the pandemic's impact on mortgage market participants' use of the temporary selling policies. Low usage of the flexibilities make the temporary flexibilities no longer mandatory to ensure efficient market function.

The recent actions are just the latest steps FHFA has taken to benefit renters, property owners and the mortgage market during the pandemic. FHFA will continue to monitor the coronavirus' impact on tenants, borrowers, and the mortgage market and update policies as needed. Homeowners and renters can visit consumerfinance.gov/housing for up-to-date information on their relief options, protections and key deadlines.
Now open: NAR's 2022 Committee application process
It's that time of year again! NAR's 2022 Committee Application Process is open now through May 7, 2021. NAR leaders are excited to see passionate members apply for and serve on the national committees. Please consider applying for a 2022 committee and encourage other members to do the same.

Below are some helpful resources for the 2022 process: 

Questions? Call Member Support at (800) 874-6500. 
Housing Market Statistics
Get up-to-date housing market information here. SPAAR provides four different types of reports so you can offer your clients the most accurate housing data available. Click below to see how the market is doing:

Join SPAAR's Facebook group for members only
Check out the SPAAR Facebook page created specifically for members here.
Welcome, new members!
Introducing SPAAR's newest members. Welcome, all! We're glad you're here.
Connect with SPAAR