There are many homebuyer incentive programs right here in Texas. Problem is, not many people – Texas Realtors included – know about them. Until now…
Ira Gribin, 1989 NAR president, was a national pioneer in workforce housing education and advocacy. In early 2010, the Texas Association of Realtors Housing Opportunity Foundation (TARHOF), a 501c(3) charity, receive and Ira Gribin grant from the National Association of Realtors. Why? Because we created a Texas-specific program that you can use to help more consumers achieve and maintain their goal of homeownership.
Program goals
• Train Texas Realtors on workforce housing issues, consumer needs for workforce housing, and specific workforce housing and first-time buyer programs available for Texans – who sponsors them, how they work, and how to access them for clients.
• Leverage existing Texas Association of Realtors partnerships with various state and federal agencies with affordable-housing programs – including Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs, Texas Veterans Land Board FHA, and others.
• Build consumer awareness of available programs and Texas Realtors role in bringing real solutions to real people.
• Create incentives for more homebuyer education programs throughout the state.
• Despite being such a large state whose roots and culture are tied to private-property ownership, Texas ranks just 44th out of 50 states in homeownership. The overall Texas homeownership rate, including all ethnic groups, is 65.4% compared to 67.4% nationwide, according to U.S. Census data.
• While overall affordability is good in Texas, home prices in the major metro areas can be prohibitive, especially for public servants such as teachers, law enforcement personnel, and firefighters.
• The homeownership gap is widest in Texas among Hispanics, who account for 36.5% of the Texas population and yet only 58% are homeowners.
• We’ve re-tooled our highly successful Texas Affordable Housing Specialist (TAHS) certification program to focus even more on workforce housing programs available within our state. We’ve incorporated updated and expanded training on FHA and manufactured housing, where appropriate.
• We’re providing grants through TARHOF to Texas Realtors, local associations, and other organizations with Realtor ties to host consumer education workshops on workforce housing.
• We’ve launched a statewide advertising and public relations campaign, incorporating new radio messages and promoting the new Website,, made possible through the Texas Association of Realtors’ participation in an NAR pilot program.
Three ways to expand your horizons and tap into workforce housing…
1. Use
The Texas Association of Realtors created, a searchable online database of homebuyer-assistance programs. You and your clients can find programs, such as downpayment assistance and below-market mortgage interest rates, available only in Texas. Many, though not all, of the programs depend on household income and whether the consumer has owned a home in the last three years. also has a glossary of real estate terms, outlines the homebuying process, and provides information on issues that affect many first-time buyers, such as predatory lending and credit repair.
2. Take the new training for Texas Realtors.
Texas Realtors University is offering workforce housing courses through local associations on the ever-changing FHA rules, manufactured housing,, and more. The 12 hours total leads to the Texas Affordable Housing Specialist (TAHS) certification, putting you in touch with more potential homebuyers via an online searchable database of TAHS graduates on and
3. Conduct a consumer workshop.
The Texas Association of Realtors Housing Opportunity Foundation will issue up to $1,500 grants to host/conduct consumer workshops on workforce housing. The whole idea is to position local Texas Realtors as the experts and advocates for affordable workforce housing in Texas.
Interested? Visit