Community Grants

Greater Harrisburg Association of REALTORS® welcomes local municipal and county governments and organizations to work together to create more vibrant and successful communities. If you are interested in any of the below NAR grants or have questions, please contact Margaret Parsons at or 717-364-3200.

Housing Opportunity Grants

NAR’s Housing Opportunity Grants support activities that create or improve systems, programs and policies that expand access to housing that is affordable. There are three levels of Housing Opportunity Grants.

Level One

Level 1 Housing Opportunity Grants can be used to hold educational activities such as a class or forum; to host a speaker(s) who can address specific affordable housing issues; or to hold a meeting with community stakeholders to develop coalition efforts.

Level Two

Level 2 Housing Opportunity Grants support activities that address a specific affordable housing issue in a community. Activities should involve partnerships and have a broad community reach.

Level Three

Level 3 Housing Opportunity Grants support new projects or enhance existing efforts that have growth potential. The activity must include working with a non-REALTOR primary partner (housing non-profit, government agency, local employer).

Placemaking Program and Grant

Placemaking is a way to make your community a better place to live by transferring unused and underused sites and “eyesores” into welcoming destinations accessible to everyone in a community.


NAR’s Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new, outdoor public spaces and destinations in a community.

Level One

Level 1 Placemaking Grant funds demonstration and temporary projects to provide an opportunity to test the viability of long-range plans and investment initiatives that increase community livability and downtown revitalization. The intent is that these types of projects will lead to permanent projects.

Level Two

Level 2 Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new public spaces and destinations in a community accessible to everyone and open at all, or most, times. The Grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects which can be built under a year.

Smart Growth

Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. 

Ten Principles of Smart Growth

Based on the experience of communities around the nation that have used smart growth approaches to create and maintain great neighborhoods, NAR’s Smart Growth Network developed a set of ten basic principles:

  1. Mix land uses
  2. Take advantage of compact building design
  3. Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
  4. Create walkable neighborhoods
  5. Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
  6. Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas
  7. Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
  8. Provide a variety of transportation choices
  9. Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective
  10. Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions

Level One

Level 1 Smart Growth Action Grants can be used to host the Smart Growth for the 21st Century Class or other educational activity such as a speaker who can address specific growth issues impacting your community. 

Level Two

Level 2 Smart Growth Action Grants provide seed funding to enable a state or local association to make the initial efforts to engage local land-use/transportation policy issues with other stakeholders and elected officials.