Latinos in the U.S. now have a tool to acquire their own home
Fannie Mae launched new resources in Spanish-language to close the homebuying gap among this population.
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Fannie Mae recently introduced new resources and programs that will provide Latino communities around the country with fair opportunities to access and purchase homes in a long-term, sustainable manner.
Priscilla Almodovar, Fannie Mae CEO, said in a press release:
We want to help people access and stay in their homes for a long time. The down payment assistance and education we provide to learn the home buying process will help Latino communities achieve both goals.
New Tool in Spanish-language
Following the launch of Homeview® by Fannie Mae in early 2022, which reached more than 340,000 consumers who completed the homebuyer course, the company introduces ‘HomeView en Español.’
This new digital platform, designed for Latino consumers, provides consumers with essential information 24 hours a day and seven days a week on financial education and access to purchasing their own home.
‘HomeView en Español’ contains a new credit education course with content designed to guide this group of consumers to establish and manage their credit effectively, a key component to accessing the traditional home buying process.
According to Fannie Mae's Latino Housing Journey research, poor or insufficient credit history is a barrier disproportionately faced by Latino renters and first-time homebuyers.
“We will continue to work closely with the Latino community to create solutions and break down the barriers they face in the process of purchasing their own home. We are committed to fighting for a future in which everyone has fair access to sustainable housing,” added Almodovar.
This comprehensive course was designed for the Latino community, with the idea that they can go through each of the stages of successfully buying a home.
Sol Trujillo, Co-Founder of L’ATTITUDE sits with Priscilla Almodovar, CEO of @FannieMae and talks about expanding access to the Latino cohort and the future expansion of Latino home ownership. #LATTITUDE2023 pic.twitter.com/uPiUMq2kTn— L'ATTITUDE (@LATTITUDEevent) September 27, 2023
While Fannie Mae plans improvements to its original real estate platform in 2024, ‘HomeView en Español’ stands out by:
- Completely free to the public upon registration and easily accessible via desktop, mobile devices and tablets.
- An interactive and educational course, which incorporates short quizzes and audio clips to help them learn and retain the content.
- The information was adapted to address the main obstacles and challenges that Latino consumers face when establishing and maintaining their credit.
“The obstacles that Latinos face in buying a home are great, but not insurmountable,” highlighted Almodovar.
To address the initial costs of purchasing a home, another obstacle that disproportionately affects Latino renters and first-time buyers, Fannie Mae expanded access to its pilot program called the Special Purpose Credit Program (SPCP).
This program provides down payment assistance to first-time buyers who meet certain requirements and live in majority-Latino communities located in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia.
According to data from The Urban Institute shared by Fannie Mae, 70% of net new home buyers between 2020 and 2040 will be Hispanic/Latino.
The company stresses that this demographic group represents one of the fastest growing segments of potential buyers, but at the same time, they face various barriers in the process of purchasing a home.
Factors such as a lack of affordable homes, higher rates of credit crunch, and higher upfront costs when purchasing a property are some of the most common challenges faced most frequently.
Over the past 2 years, Fannie Mae has introduced several innovative programs designed to help Latinos, African Americans and other historically disadvantaged consumers achieve homeownership, including:
- Positive Rental Payment History: Shares a tenant's on-time rent payment information directly to credit bureaus, helping them establish and improve their credit scores.
- Prompt Rent Payment History (PRPH): Renters can also submit their on-time payment history and have it counted toward qualifying for a mortgage.
- Desktop Underwriter (DU): Consumers without credit scores can now be considered within the mortgage underwriting process with innovations in Fannie Mae's automated underwriting system.
“With innovative thinking and committed allies, it is possible to expand housing acquisition opportunities in a sustainable and responsible manner, both for the housing system and for potential buyers. These initiatives represent the next steps on that path,” concluded Almodovar.