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Title News - March/April, 2006

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March/April, 2006 - Volume 85 Number 2

National Homeownership Month

by Michelle Sweet

In his 2005 Proclamation, President Bush wrote:
  “For millions of individuals and families, the American Dream starts with owning a home. When families move into a home of their own, they gain independence and confidence, and their faith in the future grows. The spread of ownership and opportunity helps give our citizens a vital stake in the future of America and the chance to realize the great promise of our country.”
As members of the title industry, we can all take pride in our important role in helping to make the American dream of homeownership come true for millions of individuals and families across the country. Our work behind the scenes on each and every home-buying transaction assures that families can move into their new homes with confidence and peace of mind.
ALTA® encourages members to participate in this special homeownership awareness month in your local communities and to help spread the word about the important contribution the title industry makes to the homeownership process. In support of this initiative, during the month of June there will be a number of celebrations and educational events held across the country by organizations such as the National Association of Realtors®, National Association of Homebuilders, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Mortgage Brokers, and others. Also, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in cooperation with other federal agencies, private businesses, and non-profit organizations, will sponsor a series of nationwide fairs to showcase the tools and resources available to help individuals and families in the homebuying process.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
Start by contacting your local city or county government and/or chamber of commerce and asking if there will be a celebration in your community. You can also suggest that your local officials adopt a resolution proclaiming June as National Homeownership Month in your town or city. (For examples of previous proclamations, go to www.whitehouse.gov, and type “Homeownership Month” in the search field.)
Other ways to participate include sponsoring a booth at a local home fair or giving a presentation to local civic organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis utilizing the presentation tools we have provided for you in the Title Industry Marketing Kit. (See next page.) The kit also contains some written articles that you can send to your local newspaper.
You might contact Habitat for Humanity to find out if there are opportunities to participate in a local project near you. Or you can get one started! If you have a team of employees, get them involved too (wearing your company T-shirts)!
And, be sure to find out if HUD is sponsoring a fair in your area by going to its Web site at www.hud.gov. These are just a few suggestions; there are any number of ways you can participate. Watch for additional information on ALTA®’s Web site at www.alta.org in the coming months.
If you have an idea or are planning an activity in your community, let us know so that we can share it with other members.

ALL THE TOOLS YOU NEED!
ALTA® has developed some tools in the Title Industry Marketing Kit that will help you participate in National Homeownership Month. The kit, which is free to ALTA® members, contains a 12-minute DVD about title insurance, a PowerPoint Presentation complete with speaker notes, brochures that explain the value of title insurance, ads to place in local homebuyer guides or newspapers, and prewritten newspaper articles you can send to your local newspaper. The articles can be accessed on the Public Awareness Campaign section of ALTA®’s home page.
Many of the materials in the kit can be customized with the name of your business, but you need to order your materials now! If you don’t already have a kit, order yours today by calling Lorri Ragan at 800-787-2582, ext. 218, or by sending an e-mail to lorri_ragan@alta.org.
For more information on National Homeownership Month or to share how you are participating in your community, contact Charlene Nieman at 800-787-2582, ext. 233.


Michelle Sweet is director of media relations for Ervin Bell Marketing Communications in Irvine, CA. She can be reached at msweet@ervinbell.com.



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