NASHVILLE — The foreclosure, neighborhood blight and natural disaster crises are having a disproportionate impact on minority communities, and minority-owned real estate businesses across the nation. As a result of these concerns, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB®), the oldest African American trade association of real estate business owners and professionals in the country, decided to do something about it. On May 2, 2012 at Howard University (Cramton Auditorium), the national association, along with members of Congress, minority business owners, and granting agencies, like the Salvation Army, held the “State of Housing In Black America Issues Forum” (SHIBA). The group along with those partnering with them have positioned themselves to face the challenges in the communities head-on.
The Forum featured interactive panel discussions with industry professionals and experts, and local and national political and community leaders, who provided an in-depth analysis of research data, along with possible solutions, as it relates to foreclosure mitigation, neighborhood blight and disaster recovery, including the groundbreaking $1.8 billion Homeowner’s Assurance Program (HAP).
There was no charge for attending the public forum. Those interested were invited to learn more about the challenges and the solutions, including a Congressional perspective.
Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was the featured guest speaker and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, delivered opening remarks.
“NAREB has seen the impact of Congress, especially the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, on homeownership solutions in the past,” says NAREB President Julius Cartwright. “We recognize the importance of providing Congress with accurate and detailed information and recommendations on how to improve housing conditions in not only low and moderate income neighborhoods, but the surrounding communities as well.
“The mortgage fall-out has required federal intervention and private sector participation and capital, but many solutions have not been effective enough– especially in minority communities. It is integral to NAREB’s efforts, and in the best interest of our nation, that all of us work together on this,” he said.
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, who was also in attendance at the forum said the “NAREB has gone considerably beyond describing the magnitude of the problems confronting the Black community… the sheer magnitude of what the NAREB is launching has already caught the immediate attention of the major players in the U.S. banking industry.”
NAREB was founded in Tampa, Florida on July 29, 1947 by a group of men and women. They adopted the name “REALTIST” as a designation for themselves that illustrated their desire to promote all of the ideals and goals of their organization.
Since that time, NAREB and its REALTISTS have gone on to win victory after victory in support of equal housing opportunities for all. “We are an association proud of our past, relentless in our struggle, and 100 percent dedicated to the REALTIST creed — Democracy in Housing.”