The nation’s Hispanic real estate leaders recently presented lawmakers with policy recommendations that are essential to preserving access to homeownership for the next wave of first-time homebuyers, half of whom will be Latino. The six-point plan, which was offered by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) during its annual policy event in Washington D.C., addresses current barriers that challenge Hispanics and other new homebuyers.

“A young, eager new generation of Latino households that were largely unaffected by the housing crisis, have high aspirations for homeownership and are waiting in the wings for their chance to buy homes,” says Carmen Mercado, NAHREP president. “They are the face of the next wave of homebuyers with the purchasing power to revive the housing market.”

Latinos are forecasted to comprise 50 percent of new buyers between now and 2020. Hispanic real estate leaders are recommending a six-point plan that they believe is essential to creating an environment that supports the recovery of the market by making it possible for new buyers to buy homes at record low prices and interest rates, including bank-owned foreclosure properties. The plan calls for:

• Government support of a mortgage market system that includes FHA, VA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and/or new GSE-like entities;
• No new taxes, fees (or elimination of the mortgage interest deduction) that would increase the cost of affordable housing;
• Appropriate budget support for supplier diversity initiatives included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. Increased diversity in the financial services sector, senior management hires and real estate service providers is essential in the future minority-dominant marketplace;
• Support of distressed property management strategies that help responsible homeowners, favor owner-occupant buyers, promote lease-to-own REO rental options and fast track short sale transactions through servicer incentives;
• Commonsense immigration reforms that protect our borders; create a pathway to legal residency or citizenship for individuals that have lived and worked in the U.S. for some time; preserve the nation’s labor pool; provide a route to citizenship for children of undocumented individuals and end the climate of hate and intolerance directed at the Latino community.
• Support for financial education and counseling programs that promote financial literacy among mortgagors

“The choices we make now will set the pace for our nation’s economic recovery. Intelligent, commonsense policy that preserves access to safe, affordable mortgage credit for a mega market of Hispanic consumers will benefit our nation with a purchase cycle that lasts years,” says Gary Acosta, co-founder and co-executive director of NAHREP.

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