African American News

"Statement by President of Black Real Estate Professionals on The $700 Billion Dollar Bailout"

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Washington, DC – September 24, 2008 -- Speaking on behalf of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the country’s oldest minority trade association, President Maria Kong, issued this statement in light of the anticipated legislative action authorizing the U.S. Department of the Treasury to restore confidence in the nation’s financial system by spending a reported $700 billion to shore up Wall Street by purchasing, non-performing mortgage loan, among other financial bailout strategies .

“The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) urges Congress and the Bush Administration to work together to restore confidence into the nation’s broken financial system. At the same time, we fervently ask the bipartisan leadership to pay special attention to, and not overlook the plight of the millions of economically distressed African American and other minority homeowners who were disproportionately steered toward onerous subprime mortgage products.

“Conservatively, African Americans and Latinos have lost $164 billion in home equity with estimates as high as $200 billion. We know that all Americans are suffering and need an immediate indication that our government is prepared to include an economic prescription for Main Street as it addresses the meltdown on Wall Street. A strategy for both is critical. But, not including a plan that immediately and meaningfully assists at-risk homeowners short-circuits, if not negates, the government’s efforts to restore the public’s confidence.

“NAREB, representing 35,000 predominantly African-American real estate professionals believes that the current economic crisis will not diminish until the foreclosures are halted, now estimated to be occurring at a rate of 10,000 per day, and distressed homeowners have a real and immediate opportunity to remain in their homes. The $700 billion dollar price tag on the bailout needs to benefit directly the very people crippled by predatory lending practices.

“We are prepared to join with policymakers, private sector representatives, African-American financial professionals, community advocates, and others to assist in crafting a true economic relief program that holds harmless African Americans and other minority homeowners from further economic erosion, that works to develop public policies that provide protection from predatory lending practices, and includes strategies to ensure that existing fair housing laws are enforced even in this time of crisis.”

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) was formed in 1947 out of a need to secure the right to equal housing opportunities, regardless of race, creed, or color. For more information, visit:

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