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Preserving and Expanding Affordable Housing for Latinos

August 9, 2013

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, pzuleta at lulac.org, (202) 812-4477

Washington, D.C. - Today, Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director, released the following statement regarding the President’s remarks on housing made earlier this week.

“The 2007-2008 housing crisis left thousands of families in foreclosure and many more underwater on their mortgages. According to PEW, Hispanics and blacks were twice as likely than whites to experience foreclosures from 2007 to 2009. 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. Also impacted were semi-government institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which are now under government supervision.

“Today, we are beginning to move past the housing crisis. We encourage a thoughtful discussion on how best to strengthen our nation’s commitment to affordable housing. At the same time, we caution against using the housing issue as an excuse to deregulate and privatize the housing market. Our objective as a country must be to structure a balanced lending market that invests in affordable home ownership and provides for non-predatory lending options. 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 home ownership 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. As the recession made clear, the value of home ownership is only fully realized over the long term. Our community continues to improve its economic status, and now more than ever needs a lending market that provides an opportunity to obtain a mortgage and build their own American Dream.

“That is why we appreciate the President’s position that any revisions to the lending market include provisions that ensure that our country’s future housing infrastructure can support all responsible Americans who qualify for home ownership, even those who are just now realizing financial stability.

“As we go forward, LULAC will fight to ensure that any housing reform proposal includes an affirmative obligation to provide affordable housing and home ownership. Also, we will urge that policy makers maintain the implied federal guarantee so that our social commitment to affordable housing continues to be fully supported by the federal government.”

About LULAC:
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org

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