New Findings in Preventing Latino Home Foreclosures

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s National Housing Initiative, HOGAR, in partnership with NeighborWorks® America, today released the findings of eight national focus groups with Latino-serving housing professionals and proposed its recommendations for policymakers, market players, and community advocates on how to prevent Latino home foreclosures. 

Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) and Congressmen Joe Baca (CA-43) and Albio Sires (NJ-13) participated in the policy briefing discussing eight focus groups held nationally with more than 90 housing industry representatives.  Focus groups were strategically held in Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Miami, FL; Phoenix, AZ; Washington, DC; and Northern Virginia, areas with both high rates of foreclosure and large Latino populations.

“The foreclosure crisis we currently face in the Latino community is only going to get worse unless we act now,” said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO.  “HOGAR’s recommendations are the first concrete steps we must take to protect countless Latinos from losing their homes.  With 25 Members of Congress serving on our board, CHCI is uniquely positioned to inform policy makers on the critical significance of our findings.”

“When so many Hispanics have been sold ticking time-bomb loans, it is crucial that we make it a priority to target this kind of predatory lending,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). “I am committed to addressing the mortgage crisis, and I commend CHCI’s HOGAR initiative for making substantive and productive recommendations. It helps people in our communities continue to live the American Dream.”

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s HOGAR program has once again provided valuable insight into the problem that potential Hispanic homeowners face in today’s housing market,” said Rep. Albio Sires, a member of the House Financial Services Committee.  “Their recent report, Sustainable Homeownership – Market and Policy Implications for Communities, will help guide efforts in Congress to ensure that homeowners build wealth for their future, rather than lose hope and their home.”

HOGAR’s recommendations to abate future foreclosures include:

Lenders should be encouraged to continue using flexible underwriting methods coupled with homeownership education by a trained professional.

Leaders in the housing community should facilitate communication between real estate professionals and housing counseling organizations to discuss how counseling can help homebuyers get and stay in their homes.

Develop a system that allows housing professionals and consumers to anonymously report unethical acts to protect the most vulnerable populations.

SOURCE: CHCI

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