For years, all conversations around increasing minority homeownership have been focused on access to credit. How do we secure enough lending programs out there to ensure that first-time homebuyers can get adequate and affordable financing to purchase their homes? This is why the most important conversations around minority homeownership have historically happened within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (FHA), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, who regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
This week the NAHREP familia took Congress by storm, meeting with a total of 53 U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators, 20 of which are member meetings. That means an actual Member of Congress joined almost half of our meetings! This is probably the most member meetings we’ve had since I joined NAHREP. This is a testament, I believe, to the work we’ve been doing at the National Advocacy Committee to increase our footprint and relationships in Congress. Your voices matter. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, we can complain all day long or we can use our voices and experiences to put pressure on the individuals who can actually do something about the problem.
Let’s talk about institutional investors. I’ve heard from many of you that this is increasingly becoming a problem in your markets. Investors are sweeping up the little housing stock there is for first-time homebuyers. In fact, in the third quarter of 2021, investors bought up a record number of properties nationwide: a total of 90,215 units worth $63.6 billion, the vast majority of which (74.4 percent) were single-family homes. This trend was highly pronounced in counties with high Latino populations.
As we all get ready for the 2022 National Convention and Housing Policy Summit in Washington D.C. next week, I thought I would interview one of our National Board of Directors and advisor to the National Advocacy Committee, Neily Soto, to talk about her journey in becoming active in the policy discussions of her local community in Massachusetts. Neily is a successful businesswoman who understands the power of getting involved and speaking up, particularly around housing inventory.
The NAHREP Policy Department is currently working long hours to make sure the State of Hispanic Homeownership Report is ready by March 2022. A critical component of the report is the annual list of policy priorities that serves as the basis for our advocacy work for the rest of the year. While these priorities focus on national advocacy, a critical component of our policy priorities is actually local.
Recently, some of our NAHREP leaders were asked: “How would you describe NAHREP to elected officials?” I think the most important thing to remember in answering that question, is that when you describe NAHREP to elected officials or to any community leader in general, it is important to establish what we are, what we stand for, and why we matter in 30 seconds.
NAHREP is a business organization, and it’s also an economic mobility organization committed to building generational wealth for our familias. But most importantly, NAHREP is an organization committed to building leaders.
A NAHREP member is not only successful in their business, they are also exceptional leaders, in and out of the NAHREP familia. But, to be exceptional, we have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. It is the only way we grow.
First of all, Happy Veterans Day to all of our amazing veterans in our NAHREP familia. Thank you for your service, your sacrifice and your dedication to this country. All of you are our heroes and you are the embodiment of service to others. Today’s blog is about negotiations. My dad is an expert bargainer, I think its inherent in our culture. I used to get embarrassed by how much he would bargain for everything, but he taught me some valuable lessons.
Did you know that as of September 30 2021, the 1 million + individuals who participated in the COVID-related forbearance programs have started to reach their 18-month cap? There is a huge role for all of us to play here, not only because we need to ensure that we protect the wealth Latinos have created through homeownership over the past few years, but because we should always seek to be a part of the solution. Many Latinos will be confused over what happens next. We need to educate ourselves first so that we can be the best source of information for our clients. But aside from that, we might just have an uptick of inventory this Fall as a result of forbearance expiring and we have to be ready for that.
With only a little over two weeks since the end of our conference, there’s already so much going on. This is especially true when it comes to our advocacy. First things first, our President Sara Rodriguez represented NAHREP yesterday at the U.S. Capitol alongside U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), Chairman of the Senate Banking and Finance Committee; and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. NAHREP was at the forefront of this fight.