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
As the NAHREP National Advocacy Committee (the NAC) launches into its fourth year, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come. Our very first blog was published in October of 2019, where we told you what to expect when you sign up for the NAC and take action with NAHREP. Since then, we’ve had 4,462 NAC sign ups and have sent 7,373 emails and phone calls to our legislators. That’s a big deal! And a huge credit to the work all of you have done to advance our mission.
Earlier this month, NAHREP met with two Congressional offices to strategize this year’s housing policy agenda. We discussed the importance of ensuring efforts to advance Latino homeownership are prioritized in upcoming legislation. While NAHREP knows the positive impacts of homeownership on Latinos and the U.S. economy, we need to make sure our political leaders are aware of this—and provide them with tangible solutions.
The NAHREP Lake County chapter has been making some big things happen! At a recent educational event on October 10, the chapter hosted U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider to discuss housing policy and other important issues. The event was a huge success and a full house of attendees got a chance to hear about NAHREP’s policy priorities, including Congressman Schneider’s take on housing inventory, immigration, and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. The NAHREP policy team got a chance to interview NAHREP Lake County President Carlos Rosado and Treasurer Josh Martinez about what has made their chapter so successful and some takeaways from the event.
If there is nothing else you take away from these blogs, let it be this one thing: You have so much more power than you think. Now it’s time to use it.When it comes to your elected officials, YOU are in charge. Don’t ever forget that. Every 2 to 4 years, you get to choose whether you want to keep your elected officials or to fire them. With that power comes a great deal of responsibility. And I know, ignorance is bliss. Most of us go about our days, solving problems that arise within our immediate families and/or businesses, and we don’t have time to “supervise or manage” our elected officials. But, if you think housing supply is the biggest issue impacting your clients and business right now, let’s do something about it!
When we joined advocacy organizations alongside the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Home Builders, and the National Association of REALTORS® to demand that housing be included in Build Back Better, we were able to do that because we were standing together as a coalition. We were all business organizations and Build Back Better included a lot of non-business-related items. However, our united stance was that if a big spending package was going to pass, it would be a huge mistake not to include support for one of the most pressing issues of our time: the housing shortage.
Last month, many of our chapters attended their local city council meetings to speak up on homeownership as part of our June City Council Campaign. It was so awesome to see all of you in action! But what was even more amazing was that many of you reported that your city’s mayor, councilmembers, and other influencers approached you after the meeting and invited you to participate in further conversations around housing supply. That is what this is all about! As you become known in your area, you may be invited to join a city planning committee or housing commission. These groups may be formal or informal, but I encourage each of you to take that opportunity if it presents itself.
I’m currently at our Corporate Board of Governors (CBOG) Retreat and I was reminded of my favorite thing about NAHREP: the beautiful lifetime friendships that are built through this network. I had the pleasure of having dinner with some of my favorite NAHREP personalities, including Jerry Ascencio, Marc Hernandez, Cristian Correa, AT Almeida, and Alex Garza. We laughed harder than I have laughed, quite frankly, in a very long time. I needed that laugh. We were vulnerable, teased each other, told stories about our families, and through laughter, we established deeper bonds with one another than ever before. No pretense, no airs, no politics, just pure friendship. It went down as one of my favorite, most wholesome NAHREP experiences ever.
It’s June! Can you believe that? We’re essentially halfway through 2022! I can’t even wrap my head around that. But, with any milestone, it’s important to do some reflections. A couple of highlights from the first half of this year: This March, we released our 11th edition of the State of Hispanic Homeownership Report where we not only featured artists, but we conducted the first-ever qualitative study, using our members to help us tell the story of Latino homeownership.
Over the next two months, NAHREP will be attending city council meetings all over the country to hold our local city officials accountable and put pressure on cities to build more entry-level housing for homeownership. The housing gap has reached crisis levels. We can no longer wait. Here’s the deal: no one is asking for more homes for first-time homebuyers. There are folks who are speaking up about affordable housing, which usually means rentals. While more rental housing is important, we can’t forget homes for homeownership!