NAHREP Members Take On Capitol Hill to Share the 2023 Policy Priorities
Celebrating NAHREP familia, cultura, politics, and grassroots action
Carrying on a 20-year-long tradition, nearly 200 NAHREP members attended meetings with 45 Congressional offices on Capitol Hill as part of NAHREP’s Homeownership & Wealth Building Conference annual fly-in. It was wonderful to see so many passionate and driven professionals come together for a common goal – to advocate on behalf of NAHREP’s mission, to advance sustainable Hispanic homeownership. During these meetings, our members shared NAHREP’s 2022 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report and the newly released policy priorities for this year.
While NAHREP has long advocated for policies designed to increase homeownership opportunities for Latinos, including housing inventory, access to credit, and immigration, NAHREP has expanded its priorities this year, including housing affordability and industry best practices. Read on for a summary of NAHREP’s recently released 2023 policy priorities and download a full copy here.
What are NAHREP’s 2023 Policy Priorities?
The 2023 Policy Priorities are based on NAHREP’s mission to advance sustainable Hispanic homeownership. NAHREP believes every individual who desires to become a homeowner and can sustain a mortgage should have access to homeownership.
To that end, NAHREP focuses its advocacy efforts in four main policy areas:
- Housing Affordability
- Access to Credit
- Industry Best Practices
- Macroeconomic Issues
Addressing the Housing Affordability Crisis
Housing affordability has fallen to record lows as home prices and interest rates continued to rise, making it more difficult to achieve homeownership. One of the biggest factors in the affordability crisis is a lack of inventory, particularly at the entry-level. Additionally, rising mortgage costs have added further cost burdens on to would-be homebuyers.
NAHREP seeks to address the housing affordability crisis by:
- Reviewing and reforming state laws that stifle housing development
- Examining and reducing building costs
- Leveraging tax incentives and Congressional appropriations to spur housing development and preserve existing housing stock
- Lower the cost of mortgage financing
Expand Sustainable Access to Credit
To better serve the growing population of Hispanic homebuyers, the lending environment must be conducive to the needs of the market. Latinos overwhelmingly purchase their first home utilizing low down payment products, such as those insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Additionally, financing opportunities need to be expanded to include self-employed borrowers and borrowers with non-traditional sources of income.
NAHREP seeks to expand access to sustainable credit by:
- Creating greater accessibility for first-time homebuyers
- Revamping existing property valuation practices through appraisal reform
- Supporting new Latino-driven Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCP)
- Passing legislation that creates Federal down payment assistance programs and low fixed-rate loan programs for first-time homebuyers
Industry Best Practices
Despite the critical role Latinos play in homeownership growth, housing production, and the overall housing market, Latinos remain underrepresented and underserved in the real estate industry. NAHREP urges the real estate sales, mortgage lending, appraisal, and real estate development industries to diversify their workforce and broaden their services.
NAHREP seeks to advance industry best practices by:
- Creating financial incentives for companies that best serve and employ diverse markets
- Supporting developers of color who build in their communities
Macroeconomic Issues: Immigration as an economic policy issue
Immigrants have historically been the bedrock of our economy. The recent decline in immigrant workers, and consequently, our labor force, has impacted the socio-economic well-being of our communities — and in particular, the housing market, a key driver in stimulating economic growth. Restrictive immigration policies have decreased authorized immigration in recent years and as a result, shrunk an already decreasing labor force.
NAHREP seeks to address the labor shortage through immigration reform by:
- Protecting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program
- Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- Creating a temporary visa category that allows employers to petition foreign workers to fill construction industry labor shortages while providing these workers with a path toward citizenship
A Closer Look at NAHREP’s Hill Visits
NAHREP members often tell us that participating in the Capitol Hill Visits is one of their favorite activities of the entire year. It’s exciting and invigorating, to be able to make a difference. We must never underestimate the power of our voice – our stories have the power to lead others to act.
Overwhelmingly, the feedback from the Congressional offices were that NAHREP members and their messages are deeply appreciated. NAHREP members have something unique, as they have a pulse on what’s happening in market and can share first hand experiences of what obstacles their constituents are facing every day. That’s pretty powerful.
For those that attended the visits for their first time, it definitely will not be their last. Members often share how much these meetings leave them feeling more motivated than ever, and better equipped to head back to their own communities and continue their work to advance our mission. To some, it was also very emotional to share personal stories and take part in a meeting with their elected officials. One NAHREP Los Angeles director shared, “On a personal note, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I, an immigrant, would meet a U.S. Senator in his office and discuss policy with his advisors.” Our voices matter!
As we all know, nothing happens overnight, but taking action and spreading our message is something that we will continue to march onward with. If you weren’t able to join the Capitol Hill Visits this year, it’s not too late. If you are interested in becoming more involved or would like to know how to get in touch with your representatives, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
About NAHREP’s National Advocacy Committee
The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®) advocates on behalf of its network of 50,000 real estate professionals and Hispanic homeowners nationwide. NAHREP focuses on national and state legislative issues that are critical to its mission: to advance sustainable Hispanic homeownership.
NAHREP firmly believes every individual who desires to become a homeowner and can sustain a mortgage should be granted access to a piece of the American Dream. To that end, we are focused on three main priorities: Housing Inventory, Access to Credit, and Immigration. Visit our website to read more about NAHREP’s policy priorities and to get involved.