WASHINGTON - Saying millions of Americans are being left out of the American dream of homeownership, the nation´s three largest organizations representing multicultural real estate professionals, Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), and National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), today called upon policy makers to do more for minority homebuyers.
This call to action comes after AREAA, NAHREP, and NAREB met in Washington, D.C., to discuss regulatory and policy changes to preserve access to homeownership for people of color.
"Overwhelmingly, the members of our three organizations agree that the lack of mortgage financing is the single biggest challenge facing minorities who want to buy homes," said Kenneth Li, AREAA chairman. "The government´s housing recovery efforts have not gone far enough to improve the situation facing minority homeowners."
At the Multicultural Real Estate & Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., members of AREAA, NAHREP, and NAREB were surveyed on their views of the home buying market and economic recovery efforts.
According to the survey results, nearly 80 percent of the attendees responded they "believe that the current policy efforts have done little to improve the situation facing minority homebuyers."
Attendees also felt strongly that an active secondary market role is needed by the government to ensure that all homebuyers have access to the American dream of homeownership.
"These are real estate professionals who are out in the community, trying to help hard-working Americans achieve their dreams of buying homes, and they are confirming what we have long suspected - that their clients cannot get loans," Carmen Mercado, Chair of NAHREP said.
In the survey of attendees, "mortgage financing availability" was cited as the single greatest factor facing the multicultural real estate community. Additionally, respondents cited "tight underwriting requirements" as the greatest challenge facing prospective homebuyers looking to obtain financing.
To stabilize the home-buying market for minorities, the organizations issued a joint report entitled "The Five Point Plan: Refocusing the Future of Minority Homeownership."
"Our Five-Point Plan is designed to bring common sense and a balanced approach to restoring the dream of homeownership to everyone. None of us wants to have homeownership a dream deferred or denied," NAREB President and CEO Vincent Wimbish stated.
The Five-Point Plan focuses on sustainability, accountability and responsibility on the part of all parties in a real estate transaction.
It calls for more diverse solutions to meet the future housing needs, and demands more preparation and responsibility on part of consumers and the industry alike. It also calls on the industry to develop unique and innovative solutions to the housing challenges facing the multicultural communities today and in the future.
Specifically, The Five-Point Plan calls for.
- A balanced regulatory approach that will support and encourage sustainable homeownership for qualified and responsible consumers seeking to purchase a home;
- Increased diversity in the financial services arena and adequate oversight of minority business utilization and senior management hires;
- Maintaining strong government support of the secondary market system that includes the broad network of primary lenders, government-supported securitization agency, and FHA that collectively works to broaden credit availability for all communities at all times;
- Strong consumer protection oversight to restore consumer and market confidence in homeownership; and
- Mandatory financial education for all first-time homebuyers that prepares them for the responsibilities, risks and rights associated with homeownership.
The Plan includes specific recommendations for each of the Five Points.