LULAC, Bank of America Join Forces To Boost Hispanic Homeownership

LULAC and BANK of AMERICA Homeownership Workshop Preparing for the Future

By Jose Garza
LULAC Director of Housing

The Latino community has fallen behind the rest of the country in accumulating wealth and assets. As much as 50% of Latinos have no bank account, only 46.1 % are homeowners compared to 68.3% for the nation overall, and Latinos have lower incomes than any other group in the country.

Homeownership is the primary vehicle for wealth accumulation, especially for moderate and low income workers. It is well known that housing affects individuals, families and communities. There is a direct correlation between homeownership and children’s physical health, social and emotional functioning and cognitive development. Homeownership leads to self-sufficiency and provides a sense of control and self-esteem. It leads to equity and financial stability, thereby improving the quality of life for Latinos and stabilizing of our communities.

It is imperative that Latinos be encouraged and educated to purchase and maintain a home. One step to boosting the level of Latino homeownership is to conduct First Time Home Buyer Workshops (HBE). They give participants the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to qualify for, select, finance, buy, maintain and keep a home.

In addition, LULAC will strive to connect potential buyers with certified housing counselors who are bilingual and bicultural to be a neutral trusted advisor. The goal of counselors is to create a partnership among real estate agents, lenders and buyers to ensure that buyers are served fairly and effectively. To this end LULAC National is involved in collaboration with the Bank of America, community based housing organizations, and LULAC councils to focus on:

1. Providing knowledge and skills to Hispanic families and individuals seeking to purchase a home for the first time.

2. Educating the Hispanic community on foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation resources.

LULAC’s key responsibilities are to:

1. Identify local market HBE classroom locations that are centrally located and accommodate at least 40 participants.

2. Conduct an eight hour HBE class utilizing an approved LULAC curriculum. The class will be coordinated and supervised by a certified HBE counselor and a second counselor will be available as backup.

3. LULAC council members will assist in marketing the program locally.

The Bank of America’s major responsibilities are:

1. Designate cities and states for the HBE classes.

2. Provide funding.

3. Provide a local Bank of America mortgage loan officer to speak at the HBE class.

The first HBE class will be held in Houston to test and refine the curriculum that will be used in the rest of the country. This is a small but significant step LULAC is taking in partnership with the Bank of America to invest in America’s housing and in strengthening our communities.

Preparing for the Future Workshop

When: Saturday, December 12th from 8:30a.m. – 5 p.m

Where:Mexican American Unity Council
2300 West Commerce Street
San Antonio, Texas 78207
Participants need to call 210-354-2400 to register
Child care is not provided
Lunch and snacks will be provided