State of Housing in Black America Report Sets Tone For Nationwide Action Campaign

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) launched a national home equity campaign and movement after releasing a groundbreaking study about discriminatory home lending practices as well as practical solutions for recovery in the "State of Housing in Black America Report" (SHIBA), during the 43rd Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference.

NAREB President Donnell Spivey said, "It's unconscionable to think that African American homeownership gains from a 20-year high in 2004 of 49 percent have eroded to just above 43 percent today."  NAREB's mission is "democracy in housing," he said, and their initiatives are aimed at getting fair housing and lending practices for African Americans as the nation's economy rebounds. Spivey's remarks kicked off a CBCF forum, "Real Estate Recovery: Is it REAL for African American?"

NAREB's report illustrates for the first time in one place, how government policies, manipulation of mortgage lending practices, and extended high unemployment, now reported to be more than 13 percent for African Americans continue to retard economic recovery in communities of color.  

James H. Carr, panel moderator and the report's lead co-author, said the document reviews the foreclosure crisis, particularly as it relates to black homeowners, analyzes the response to it, particularly the programs that failed blacks; assesses the economic "rebound" which has been slower for blacks, and suggests what the responses need to be.

Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) said the report would be instrumental in his efforts to get housing finance reform and job creation legislation. He said the loss of African American homeownership is having "intergenerational consequences" because "black wealth is more concentrated in homeownership than any other asset."  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) called the report "a vital document"  for CBC members who "want the federal government to be a partner and not obstructionist." Maurice Jourdain-Earl of Compliance Technologies presented HMDA data indicating that African Americans were never issued enough loans to be held accountable for the economic downturn beginning in 2007.

Larry Parks, a Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco executive, said that not much progress can be made individually, rather "we need to form a syndicate to buy loans."  Issuing "a call to action" on behalf of NAREB, activist Dr. Benjamin Chavis said, "Housing has become a civil rights issue."  

The SHIBA report can be downloaded at www.nareb.com.

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) was formed in 1947 out of a need to secure the right to equal housing opportunities, regardless of race, creed, or color.  Since its inception, NAREB has participated in and promoted meaningful challenges and supported legislative initiatives to ensure fair housing for all Americans.  Today, NAREB has 90 chapters located nationwide.

SOURCE The National Association of Real Estate Brokers



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