Real Estate Talk: Realtors give and money to help with disaster relief

Marty Kovacs is the 2017 Chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. Courtesy photo.

Realtors nationwide donated $1.75 million to hurricane disaster relief while teams of real estate professionals, including local contingents, made the journey to help stricken homeowners clear muck from shattered, sodden residences.

The Charitable Foundation of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, has already donated $10,000 to hurricane relief efforts, with the initial focus on Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

“We expanded that effort after Hurricane Irma cut a swath of destruction through the Caribbean and Florida,” said Nancy Starczyk, president of the Association.

“We anticipate giving another donation to the Realtor Relief Foundation, which is backed by the National Association of Realtors and has a broad reach and wide impact.”

The Realtors Relief Foundation has received more than $550,000 in donations from Realtors, has $600,000 in additional commitments from local associations, along with an NAR contribution of $600,000 that was approved by NAR’s leadership team to help families displaced by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

As a result, the Realtors Relief Foundation was able to immediately provide $1.75 million in mortgage and rental assistance to families whose homes were destroyed.

“This means thousands of people will have a roof over their head as they begin the long road to recovery,” the Foundation stated.

From Sept. 11 through the Sept. 14, Raschel Barlow, Alyson Silverman, and Stephanie Novak made the journey from Los Angeles to Sealy, Texas.

They were among a contingent of 4,000 real estate professionals associated with Keller Williams International who contributed 60,000 hours to stricken owners.

Hundreds of homes were cleaned out in Sealy and Katy, Texas, alone, she said. The group distributed 10,000 pounds of food and assembled 5,000 clean-up kits.

“The entire experience was humbling, sobering, and hard work,” Barlow said. “The energy of 4,000 agents coming together with one singular purpose of helping communities in need was profound and priceless.”

She said two fundamentals make up the core of her company’s approach — service and giving back.  “This is what fuels us to do the very best for our clients,” Barlow said, “and the communities where we live and work.”

Marty Kovacs is the 2017 Chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the 9,600-member Southland Regional Association of Realtors. David Walker, of Walker Associates, co-authors articles for SRAR. The column represents SRAR’s views and not necessarily those of The Signal. The column contains general information about the real estate market and is not intended to replace advice from your Realtor or other realty related professionals.

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