It’s time for NACtion!

Celebrating NAHREP familia, cultura, politics, and grassroots action

Que onda mi gente?!

First of all, congratulations for being a part of the inaugural National Advocacy Committee. All of you will always be remembered as the founding members of the NAC. Today, NAHREP stands 100 chapters strong with over 40,000 members. Our task? We need to leverage those numbers and create a powerful, influential, history-making united voice around Latino economic mobility. We have a clear goal: to champion wealth creation for the Latino community through homeownership in order to bridge the wealth gap. We are broader than a housing organization, we are broader than a professional organization, we are the strongest economic voice for Latinos in the U.S. and that voice is more important now than ever. Your involvement in this committee and participation in the following campaigns are critical to the future of our Latino familia.

COVID-19 Resource Center

This week we released the NAHREP COVID-19 Resource Center which answers the critical questions you have asked us regarding government support during the pandemic. As members of the NAC, it’s important that you share this resource with your communities and help us make it better.

Did you know? There is still money left in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the application has been extended to August 8, 2020? If you haven’t applied or qualified for it, all I have to say is: ¡Andale! ¿Que esperan?

This program provides forgivable loans to small businesses, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors. Calling all 1099 workers (real estate agents), this also applies to you! It’s basically free money, and we want to make sure our members and our Latino community receives access. Less than 1% of the funding so far has gone to Latino-owned businesses, we need to change that by spreading the word.

The page also includes information about forbearance, unemployment insurance and additional cash assistance. As a new stimulus bill is being debated as we speak in Congress, we will be updating this webpage with all of the latest information for you. If you have questions, this is where you go to ask them and we will work to give you an answer as soon as possible.

The resource center is intended to be a permanent fixture for the NAHREP community that will last long after the pandemic is behind us. We want this page to be a hub, where we can share information on products and best practices that will not only help our clients but also help us grow our business. Knowledge is power, mi gente!

Two campaigns: Calls to Action

We are also launching TWO advocacy campaigns this week. NAHREP is calling on all of your to contact your U.S. Senator and your U.S. Representative. We also ask that you share these with your networks; the larger our voice, the more we will get things done!

Call your U.S. Representative and ask them to vote YES on the “Promoting Access to Credit for Homebuyers Act”

Many of you have expressed concern with all of the credit overlays you’re seeing in the market. We have a chance to do something about it. Some lenders are requiring additional credit score, debt-to-income and down payment requirements. These credit overlays are hurting many would-be Latino homeowners who want to take advantage of the record low interest rates. Congressman Juan Vargas, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) from San Diego, and Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey, have introduced a critical bill addressing this issue: Promoting Access to Credit for Homebuyers Act.

One of the key reasons we saw these overlays, aside from the servicing liquidity crunches, was that FHA and FHFA announced that they would not insure loans that went into forbearance after closing but before they were funded. This made all lenders become more conservative with their lending.

Call your Representative today and share your stories about the credit overlays you’re seeing in the market and urge them to vote yes on HR 6792.

Email your U.S. Senator to urge them to prioritize important elements of the upcoming stimulus package

Over a month and a half ago, Chrissi Johnson from Quicken Loans and I did a virtual session explaining what we might expect in the next stimulus package. Well the U.S. Senate is FINALLY taking it on, particularly as many critical benefits are expiring over the next few weeks, such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. We are urging you to submit a letter to your U.S. Senator asking them to prioritize the following things:

Business Relief

  • Expand the use of PPP funds to including extending funds to struggling small landlords. Ensure PPP funding is prioritized for businesses with fewer than 10 employees and provide another round of funding to help minority-owned businesses and other firms located in under-served communities.

Support Sustainable Homeownership:

  • Extend forbearance options to all mortgages, not just those that are federally-backed.
  • Create a Homeowner Assistant Fund for states, territories, and tribes that will allow for direct assistance with mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance, utilities, and other housing costs for homeowners struggling during COVID-19.
  • Create a liquidity facility for mortgage servicers in order to cover the cost of mortgages in forbearance. A lack of liquidity would restrict access to credit for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

Cash Flow

  • Provide an additional round of cash payments to individuals and their dependents, including future and retroactive payments for tax-paying ITIN holders and mixed-status families.
  • Extend Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. As cities and states across the country are experiencing another round of shut downs, we need to ensure that Latinos who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic are able to stay afloat during the pandemic.

Housing Inventory

  • Pass the Neighborhood Homes Credit that would establish a new federal tax credit to encourage the rehabilitation of deteriorated homes in distressed neighborhoods. These tax credits would be used to cover the gap between development costs and sales prices, up to 35 percent of eligible development costs.

We’re all in this together, but we are so much stronger and effective when we collectively speak. Un abrazo!

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.