By Guest Blogger Moe Veissi, President, National Association of Realtors®
Realtors® help people into homes every day, but for our clients with disabilities, homeownership can present its own challenges. As president of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), I’m proud of the association’s work in support of accessibility and assistance for people with disabilities.
NAR provides its Realtor® members with training and resources to help them better assist all of their clients, including those with disabilities. NAR provides guidance for Realtors® on finding specialized contractors for home modifications and resources for identifying financing programs that can help buyers with disabilities adapt their new home to meet their needs. In addition, NAR’s At Home with Diversity® certification teaches Realtors® how they can increase their sensitivity and adaptability to future market trends, including awareness of inclusion and fair housing laws.
Some local Realtor® associations have also developed programs to meet specialized needs. For example, the Chicago Association of Realtors® created the “Heroes Welcome Home” program, which prepares Realtors® to advise veterans on adapting homes to accommodate disabilities and locating community rehabilitation and other veteran services.
Owning a home is a personal decision, and Realtors® understand that renting is the better option for some. To protect the rights of renters as well as homeowners, NAR has urged state and local authorities to adopt building codes that reflect the design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Whether their clients want to achieve their dreams of homeownership or decide that renting is right for them, Realtors® stand ready to help families everywhere overcome any barriers – whether financial or physical – to finding the right home for them.
Maurice “Moe” Veissi, a REALTOR® from Miami, Fla., is the president of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Active in his community, Veissi founded the Silent Angels Charitable Foundation, has coached several youth sports teams and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Camillus House for the Homeless and the Athletic Committee of Columbus High School. Veissi and his wife, Matey, also a REALTOR®, have two sons.