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The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, RealEstateEspañol.com, CitiMortgage, Inc., and Fannie Mae Announce the "Close the Gap" Campaign; New Effort will Increase Homeownership for Hispanic-American Families in Los Angeles

Submitted by: Fannie Mae

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Oct 25, 2000 – 12:00 AM EST


Oct. 25 /CSRwire/ - The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), RealEstateEspañol.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quepasa.com (nasdaq:PASA), CitiMortgage, Inc., a subsidiary of Citigroup (C/NYSE), and Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE), the nation’s largest source of financing for home mortgages, today announced NAHREP’s "Close the Gap" campaign, a new nationwide effort to raise the national homeownership rate among Hispanic-American families. More than 300 real estate professionals, nonprofit organizations, and other housing partners attended today’s forum in Los Angeles, one of ten Close the Gap forums to be held across the country.

"With escalating housing costs and a booming economy, it’s more important than ever to ensure that Latino families have greater access to homeownership – the cornerstone of the American dream," said U.S. Representative Grace Napolitano (D-CA). "The Close the Gap effort will go a long way to help open the doors of homeownership for more hard-working families. I applaud the partnership that has made this a national priority."

According to 1999 data from the U.S. Census, only 35 percent of Hispanics in Los Angeles are currently homeowners, compared to the national homeownership rate for Hispanics of 45.5 percent. Through strategic partnerships, NAHREP’s Close the Gap campaign will work to close this gap by increasing homeownership education targeted directly to Spanish-language home buyers, and growing the base of real estate professionals, lenders, and other housing professionals doing business in Latino communities.

"Increasing the homeownership rate among Hispanic families is an important element in creating wealth and revitalizing communities all over the country," said Ruben Garcia, president of NAHREP. "As we hold homeownership forums and educate real estate professionals about local and national resources, we hope that they in turn can help more Hispanic families have the opportunity to realize the American dream of homeownership."

Fannie Mae’s participation in NAHREP’s Close the Gap campaign is part of the company’s new American Dream Commitment to help shrink homeownership gaps across the nation. The ten-year, $2 trillion American Dream Commitment will increase homeownership among minorities, young families, women-headed families, new immigrants, and others whose homeownership rates lag the general population.

"Fannie Mae applauds the efforts of NAHREP and its partners in initiating a nationwide campaign to increase the number of Hispanic homeowners," said Ron Garcia, deputy director of Fannie Mae’s Los Angeles Partnership Office. "Through this campaign, real estate professionals, nonprofits, and others will be able to assist the public in obtaining information on homeownership and help more families become homeowners."

"RealEstateEspañol.com is pleased to join NAHREP and Fannie Mae in kicking off the national Close the Gap campaign," said Gary Acosta, senior vice president of RealEstateEspañol.com. "We believe that technology and the Internet are essential elements in achieving the goal of increasing Hispanic homeownership throughout the country."

"CitiMortgage is excited to be part of Close the Gap since it will help us to fulfill our commitment to increase our affordable lending business and transform the way we serve emerging markets throughout the country," said David E. Lowman, president and CEO of CitiMortgage. "We hope that as a result of this campaign and CitiMortgage’s expanded line of flexible products targeted for low- to moderate-income borrowers, minority home buyers and new immigrants, many more families will become new homeowners."

For more information about the Close the Gap campaign, please call NAHREP at 1-800-964-5373, or visit their Web site at www.nahrep.org.

For more information, please contact:

Jon Searles
Phone: (626) 396-5119


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