National Advocacy Committee Blog

Celebrating NAHREP familia, cultura, politics, and grassroots action

Que onda mi gente?

Hope everyone got up today with a smile, brewed your cafecito (with foam), and blasted your favorite song to get your day going. I don’t know about you but my favorite song to either get to dancing or to completely transform my mood is “La Bicicleta” by Shakira. There’s something about the vallenato in that song that fills my soul like my mom’s “sopita de fideo.” Maybe I was Colombian in another life.

So in the words of my girl Shakira “a mi manera, descomplicado,” let’s get this blog started.

So I texted NAHREP to (50457), now what?

If any of you are wondering what happens next after you’ve texted NAHREP to 50457 here’s what’s up. This year, NAHREP purchased VoterVoice, a tool we will be using to make our voice heard and send waves throughout the government ecosystem. Through this tool, you will be able to automatically contact your elected officials, send emails to them and even register to vote! We will be sending you scripts, push-to-dial phone number links, and email templates that you can use when contacting your elected officials.

Do I really have to call my representatives? That sounds… hard.

Yes, because we have to be politically savvy. Sure, voting is important, but being politically savvy is so much more than that. It means being an active participant in the legislative process. You have to tell your representatives what you want them to do. That means calling them, emailing them, or at the very least, tweeting at them!

If you never contact your representative to let them know what you think they should be concentrating on, it’s like a boss that doesn’t talk to their employees. How is your business going to thrive and if you never tell your staff your vision? Or, if you establish zero incentives for your staff to perform well. For all of you boss ladies or boss brothers out there, you know what’s up!

Your NAC Action items:

  • Blast your favorite song. As long as it’s not La Macarena.
  • Encourage your NAHREP sisters and brothers who want to join the NAC to text NAHREP to 50457 (and fill out their profiles!)
  • Be on the lookout for call, email and tweet requests from NAHREP led campaigns. I promise, it’s really easy.

 

What’s Happening in DC?

Abraham Lincoln law getting in the way of access to FHA loans?
HUD just announced an MOU with the Department of Justice over how they will be evaluating False Claims Act cases, a move intended to encourage banks to go back to offering FHA loans. So what does Abraham Lincoln have anything to do with FHA loans? Lots!

The False Claims Act was established during the Civil War to protect the government against fraud over things like uniforms. An overuse of the False Claims Act has been a big reason why banks have moved away from doing FHA loans altogether. Crazy right? Take that to trivia night.

After the 2008 crisis many lenders were getting sued by the Department of Justice for large amounts of $$$ for making small clerical errors and oftentimes without any clarity provided on what was and wasn’t allowed. I was just at the Mortgage Bankers Association conference when Secretary Ben Carson and FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery announced the new MOU between the Department of Justice and HUD. This announcement has created major buzz throughout the conference.

Will this actually make lenders go back to offering FHA loans? No se. We’ll have to wait and see. I’ll keep you posted.

This matters to us because Hispanic home buyers are more than twice as likely (42.8 percent) to have an FHA loan, as compared to non-Hispanics (20.6 percent). Competition is a good thing. Latino borrowers should have options when finding a loan for their home.

Discrimination in Housing is Getting More Difficult to Prove
Over 45,000 people and organizations submitted comments in response to a Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) proposed rule that would gut a critical tool for addressing housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, called “disparate impact.”

Wait, what?

Basically, HUD is proposing to shift the full responsibility and burden of proof onto people suing over housing discrimination.

This is a big deal because discrimination in the housing market is still alive. As Latinos edge toward 50% homeownership for the first time in history, it is important that strong anti-discrimination rules exist.

An excerpt from what we wrote:

Industry Impact: Hollowing out the 2013 Disparate Impact rule puts companies that have prioritized serving diverse communities fairly and effectively at a competitive disadvantage in favor of companies who are less responsible.

 

To read the NAHREP letter, click here.

And to get you through the day…. I leave you with Shakira and Carlos Vives: “Esa cartica que yo te escribe, que te sueno y que te quiero tanto.“

About Noerena Limón

Noerena Limón is NAHREP’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Industry Relations. Noerena heads the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts on issues ranging from homeownership, housing inventory, credit access and immigration.

Prior to joining NAHREP, Noerena spent six years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and served as a political appointee under President Obama in the White House Office of Political Affairs.