Alberta Real Estate Foundation
The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF), created by the Real Estate Act of 1991, provides grants to applicants who work on projects related to real estate education, real estate law reformation, affordable housing, and other projects benefiting real estate industry in Alberta. Funding for AREF comes from the interest earned on real estate brokers' pooled trust accounts, paid into when a broker receives money in trust during a real estate transaction. Over the years, the Foundation has contributed over 10.4 million dollars and provided grants for over 350 projects across Alberta.
Originally, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation was created as a response to a perceived need to educate consumers and practitioners in real estate. Therefore, in its early years, the Foundation dedicated itself to increasing public awareness of the real estate industry and to supporting the professional development of REALTORS® through education. AREF also supported self-regulation of the real estate industry, made possible through the Real Estate Council of Alberta, set up in 1996. By the late 1990s, AREF began to expand its areas of interest, particularly by providing grants to projects that addressed affordable housing needs. In 2001, the Foundation began providing grants for land use and environmental projects, which continues to be an important area of focus for AREF.
Currently, the Alberta Real Estate Association provides grants in four key areas: Industry and Consumer Education, Affordable Housing, Land-use and Environment, and Research and Innovation.
The Foundation's educational goals balance the needs of industry professionals and consumers; the Foundation strives to raise the standards of real estate through a focus on improving service, rather than on just increasing profitability. For consumer education, the goal is to not only increase awareness of real estate, but to encourage more consumer participation in real estate, and give the consumer the means to serve their own real estate interests. Many of the research and innovation projects funded by AREF serve to meet the Foundation's educational goals.
AREF's goals for affordable housing include supporting market growth that provides low-cost housing options. Through grants, the Foundation aims to increase affordable housing units, and to increase the capacity of the real estate industry to provide more affordable housing.
Many of AREF's recent contributions to the real estate industry have been through its Land-Use and Environment grants. AREF's aim is to preserve the health and improve the quality of life of Albertans. The Foundation funds projects to provide information on land use and environmental issues, to safeguard the interests of land owners, to improve the ability of public bodies and citizens to respond to "the pressures and consequences of change, growth and stagnation in their locality," and to build conflict resolution skills in areas related to land use and the environment. Recently, AREF was short-listed for an Emerald Award for funding the publication Sustainability at Home, a toolkit for homeowners to make sustainable household decisions.References
Alberta Real Estate Foundation. Retrieved June 23, 2008, from www.aref.ab.ca
Alberta Real Estate Foundation. "Building on the Foundation: Reflections of the First Ten Years 1991-2001." Retrieved June 23, 2008, from www.aref.ab.ca - About Us - Overview