by Jacob Passy

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals has issued an industrywide call to improve access to affordable housing.

Chief among NAHREP’s many goals is to pressure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to renew their efforts toward affordable housing, namely remove barriers for low-income Latinos, according to a press release the San Diego-based group released.

Citing government data, NAHREP argued that Latino mortgage applicants were twice more likely than white applicants to be denied a loan from a government-sponsored entity. Not only does this prevent many from purchasing homes, but NAHREP said it also works to widen the wealth gap and deter economic growth.

“It’s time for the government to strategically engage with the housing and lending industries in order to meet the needs of ready, willing and able buyers whose home purchases would add jobs, fuel the economy, and benefit all Americans,” said Jason Madiedo, 2014 NAHREP president, in the release.

The group also called for improved access to credit for minority borrowers overall and REO inventory disposition that provides access to owner occupants before investors.