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!
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.
I’ve always loved learning about history, and I still do. It’s identifying those key moments, events, and people who created a bend in the timeline of history, altered daily life, impacted a course of events, or changed our values. As a kid, I always wondered if the people who were witnessing these historic moments in real-time even knew they were what I like to call “life-bending” moments.