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NAA Announces Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion Grant Recipients

Nicole Ryan
703-797-0630
[email protected]

ARLINGTON, VA | September 9, 2021 – The National Apartment Association (NAA) announces the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando, PeakMade Real Estate and Arizona Multihousing Association as recipients of the 2021 Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion (IDI) Grant. The NAA Diversity & Inclusion committee carefully reviewed grant applications from throughout the country and selected recipients whose objectives align with the ideals set forth by NAA’s Diversity and Inclusion Vision Statement. The statement reads, "As the voice of the rental housing industry, NAA will model inclusion and embrace diverse backgrounds and perspectives to those with whom we work and exist to serve."

The IDI Grant, generously sponsored by The Home Depot Pro, plays a central role in NAA’s mission to advance diversity and inclusion in the rental housing industry, inspire the next generation and strengthen those with whom we work and exist. Applications were open to NAA member associations, property management firms, supplier partners and related organizations that have innovative ideas to advance diversity and inclusion at their organizations. IDI funds and their recipients will provide meaningful contributions to our industry and help further NAA's goal of encouraging an inclusive, supportive and richly diverse workforce. NAA’s total pool of funds for the IDI grants is $25,000 per fiscal year.

Full details on the IDI grant program can be found here. Home Depot Pro has also created a video highlighting the importance of diversity and IDI diversity grants, available here

“Ensuring a diverse and inclusive environment is a top priority for NAA, and we are proud to spearhead industry efforts to ensure everyone feels at home in the rental housing industry,” said Bob Pinnegar, NAA President & CEO. “NAA recognizes that we all must do better to expand opportunities and celebrate diversity, and we are proud to back our commitment up with action. Funds from the IDI grant will not only help winners with their respective projects, but will also benefit local communities by offering greater opportunities within the rental housing industry to more people. We congratulate all recipients and look forward to learning from their important work.”

The 2021 IDI Grant funding is broken down as follows, accompanied by project descriptions submitted on the recipients’ applications:

Apartment Association of Greater Orlando: The ROI of DEI - $10,600

  • This grant would be used to partner with Valencia College's Peace & Justice Institute to develop a DEI "Leadership Academy." The Academy would be offered to AAGO members at no cost and facilitated by preeminent experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Additionally, the grant would be used to commission a research firm to conduct a survey of the membership in an effort to more thoroughly understand the diverse backgrounds of central Florida's industry workforce. Participants would be asked, anonymously, for their opinions on real or perceived career barriers, the importance of DEI to their employer, and what role the association could play in fostering a culture of DEI within the apartment industry. The results of this study will provide AAGO with much needed data to target resources to underrepresented constituencies within the industry and association.

PeakMade Real Estate: Fostering Inclusive Excellence and Belonging Through Intercultural Development Competence - $9,400

  • The primary goal of this project and initiative is to provide the tools, education, and resources to our leadership team members to foster a more self-aware and inclusive company and environment for all of our employees. Throughout the past year, our leadership team has expressed interest in identifying where they are at and where to begin when diving into DEI. We firmly believe that we cannot continue the work of inclusion and diversity with our on-site teams until we have looked inward at our own leadership and identify the opportunities we have to create a more consistent approach to how we communicate and interact with our team members.
     
  • In order to reach this goal, we are seeking funds to expand our Intercultural Development Inventory Leadership programs supported by a pilot program that is currently underway in partnership with Niya Blair Hackworth, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Consultant and Coach. Through a three-step approach: assessment, conversation, and action, we want to raise the cultural competency of our leaders and provide a space in which they can confront their personal opportunities, have open dialogue with a professional inclusion leader, and create an action plan that becomes a part of how they lead their teams.

Arizona Multihousing Association: Diversity & Inclusion Certification Program and Toolkit - $5,000

  • The Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program and Toolkit would aim to move beyond educational conversations on cultural awareness and sensitivity, delving into implementation of best practices in policies, hiring and retention. With the aid of a proposed $5,000 grant from the National Apartment Association, and by enlisting the expertise of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, we are confident that the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program and Toolkit will provide the resources needed to ensure inclusivity, equality and equity for all of Arizona’s multihousing workforce, and serve as a model for the rest of the nation.

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About NAA
The National Apartment Association (NAA) serves as the leading voice and preeminent resource through advocacy, education, and collaboration on behalf of the rental housing industry. As a federation of 149 state and local affiliates, NAA encompasses over 93,000 members representing more than 10.5 million apartment homes globally. NAA believes that rental housing is a valuable partner in every community that emphasizes integrity, accountability, collaboration, community responsibility, inclusivity and innovation. To learn more, visit www.naahq.org. NAA thanks its strategic partners Lowe’s Pro Supply and Yardi.