WASHINGTON, D.C. – Burdensome student loan debt, home appraisal bias, disparate mortgage lending pricing, historic discriminatory federal policies still adversely affecting the growth of Black homeownership, and the overarching societal effects of the pandemic are subjects of 2021 Spring Policy Conference to be convened by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) May 12-13, 2021. This year’s sessions are framed by the conference theme ‘Increasing Black Homeownership: Are Current Housing Public Policies a Boost or a Hindrance?’
“NAREB is taking a deep dive into government policies, legislative initiatives as well as private sector lending practices that jeopardize the ability of Black Americans to purchase a home. Our goal is not merely to discuss, but to advance the NAREB agenda to build Black wealth through homeownership. It takes consistent, focused advocacy and sharing with public officials how systemic impediments to homeownership can and should be eliminated,” said Lydia Pope, president-elect, National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB).
Confirmed elected and appointed officials scheduled to speak include: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chair, Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; U.S. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas); U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.); U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.); Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Mark Calabria, director, Federal Housing Finance Agency; and Bruce Dorpalen, executive director, National Housing Resource Center.
Noted housing policy experts and industry leaders speaking during the two-day conference include: William Michael Cunningham, economist, Creative Impact Research; Michela Zonta, senior policy analyst, Housing Finance and Policy Center for American Progress; Ron Busby, president/CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.; Sasha Hewlett, director, Secondary & Capital Markets/Residential Policy, Mortgage Bankers Association; Natalie Maderia Cofield, asst. administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership, U.S. Small Business Administration; and Dwight Alexander, senior vice president, director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
Advocacy strategies are the threads connecting all of conference sessions. Whether regulatory or legislative obstacles interfering with the growth of Black homeowners, NAREB, along with its allies are prepared to push for proposals for change. Specifically, NAREB’s policy agenda includes: the establishment of a national down payment assistance fund; the reform and standardization of the payment calculation for school loans in mortgage underwriting for FHA, VA and the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) financing, and the elimination of Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs) and risk-based pricing.
President-elect Pope said: “The State of Housing in Black America, which we track every year requires our vigilance, transparency, and a focused action agenda to raise our current homeownership rate from 45.1% to be on par with the non-Hispanic White rate of 73.8%. Black homebuyers deserve the opportunity. Our communities will benefit and the nation will reaffirm its promise of the American Dream of homeownership for all of its citizens.”
To learn more about the 2021 NAREB Spring Policy Conference and to register, visit <bit.ly/2021-virtual-spring-policy-conference>.