WOODBRIDGE, Va., Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, John Villamil, Chair of the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action, a Hispanic organization based in northern Virginia, released the following statement regarding a field hearing on housing reform hosted by the National Council of La Raza:
"The Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action knows full well that the 2007-2008 housing crisis left many families in Prince William County in foreclosure and many more underwater on their mortgages, including many Latinos. According to studies from organizations like the Pew Research Center, Hispanics and African Americans were twice as likely than whites to experience foreclosures in the following years. Those primarily responsible, including most Wall Street financial institutions, were bailed out with tax payer money while the most vulnerable families were left without any recourse.
"We credit the National Council of La Raza for hosting a field hearing in Woodbridge today to discuss the future of housing, as we begin to move past the recent housing crisis. HOLA encourages a thoughtful discussion on how to best strengthen our nation's commitment to housing. At the same time, we caution against using the housing crisis as an excuse to limit access to affordable housing and increase the cost of homeownership on low and middle income families. Our objective must be to ensure a balanced approach to the structure of any housing market and to demand that this market benefit our households instead of banks, investors and Wall Street. These safeguards are critical in order for credit worthy, hard-working, responsible Americans to have a piece of the American Dream.
"This is an issue of particular interest to the Latino community. Latino households see homeownership as a critical part of achieving the American Dream. Home ownership is also essential to a family's ability to accumulate assets and save for retirement. Indeed, recent studies show that too many Latino and African American households have little to no retirement savings, and their only opportunities to generate wealth are usually through their home. Our community continues to improve its economic status, and now more than ever needs a lending market that does not pull back on our national commitment to provide credit worthy families an opportunity to find a good home and obtain a mortgage.
"At HOLA we understand that there are many high level discussions taking place on these housing policies, and we merely want to express that our community urges caution. We want families in Prince William County to see more affordable options to own and rent their homes, not less. And, we certainly caution against making it more difficult or expensive for low and moderate income families to get a home. The recent housing crisis was born from the abuses that can occur when we have lax rules and inconsistent government oversight. The solution cannot be further deregulation and privatization.
For generations our country has had a social commitment to affordable housing, and we want to continue seeing that commitment for the benefit of future generations of Latino families that will want a home in Prince William County and live out the American Dream. We cannot retreat from that goal."
John Villamil can be reached at 202-997-0386 or email@example.com.
SOURCE Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action