Commentary by Nayeli Pelayo

According to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the Hispanic Wealth Project, a non-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission to financially and educationally empower the Hispanic community in America, the tide has turned for Latinos in the U.S. The organizations recently released a joint report showing that for the first time in 10 years, there was a rise in Hispanic homeownership rates, while the rest of the country experienced a decline.

Last year, NAHREP unveiled a plan to triple Latino wealth over the next 10 years through its Hispanic Wealth Project. While ambitious, the goal is achievable given continued gains in household income and the current Hispanic purchasing power of over $1.5 trillion. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis predicted that Latino wealth could grow by $2 trillion in the next 10 years with projected gains in population if there’s an environment fostering wealth in the community.

The Hispanic Wealth Project’s initiative will be achieved through three component goals: to achieve a 50 percent rate of homeownership; to increase by 50 percent the first-year success rate of Hispanic-owned small businesses; and to increase by 25 percent the number of Hispanic households owning non-cash financial assets. Several groups, including major banking institutions such as Wells Fargo, have joined the movement, and now, the time has come to analyze the progress made last year and plan for the year ahead.

On June 1, 2016, the Hispanic Wealth Project will host its inaugural Symposium, bringing together stakeholders and industry leaders to review the headway on the project, as well as the project’s additional initiatives to double the number of Hispanic real estate and mortgage professionals in the industry, develop multiple sources of capital for Hispanic-owned small businesses, and use technology to assist high-earning Hispanics in the industry with developing long-term wealth strategies. The project’s annual report will be released at the Hispanic Wealth Project Symposium, and its findings will include an assessment of this year’s efforts. The report will also be shared with advisors, sponsors, NAHREP membership and the public at large.

Partners who have committed to the support of the Hispanic Wealth Project, such as Wells Fargo, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Clear Point Financial Solutions, Base 11 and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, will have the opportunity to give presentations on their policies and programs in line with the project. Wells Fargo, for example, committed $125 billion in mortgage originations and a goal of $10 million to support financial counseling for homebuyers, as well as pledged to increase the number of Latino home lending professionals in their company. Other distinguished corporate sponsors of the Hispanic Wealth Project include Freddie Mac, Chase, Quicken Loans and Union Bank.

For information about the Hispanic Wealth Project, and to register for the Symposium, visit