Black Real Estate Professionals weigh results of housing foreclosure crisis at Memphis convention

WASHINGTON, DC – The nation’s oldest minority trade association convenes its 61st Annual Convention at a time when one in five Black American homeowners is projected to lose a residence due to foreclosure.

Facing severe economic pressures of their own, more than 600 Realtists®, members of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), are scheduled to attend the four-day gathering, August 8-11, at the Memphis Marriott Downtown Hotel, Memphis, TN.

The expected 600 attendees representing NAREB’s 84 chapters, meeting under the banner, “Putting the REAL back in Real Estate,” expect to learn new business survival skills, understand key elements of the re-tooled mortgage lending environment, and training to provide better service to homebuyers and sellers in a roller coaster real estate market. Plans call for the collaborative issuance of a national “Call to Action” designed to include in public dialogue the dire circumstances experienced by the estimated 2 million Black American homeowners facing foreclosure.

“Finally, Congress and President Bush are acting. Unfortunately, the legislative and regulatory measures will not come soon enough to help the more than two million American homeowners who, over the past year and a half, have lost their homes to foreclosure. Nor, will the measures readily restore economic well-being to thousands of minority real estate professionals whose livelihoods fell victim to this housing tsunami,” said Maria Kong, NAREB’s President and CEO referring to the anticipated passage and enactment the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008.

Maria Kong, NAREB President and CEO

“Our mission is clear. First, the preservation of dwindling wealth by helping Black homeowners now struggling to pay subprime and predatory mortgage loans keep their homes. Second, the restoration of our communities by helping prospective homeowners find affordable homes and sustainable mortgages.
And third, work in collaboration with other organizations to protect our communities from ever again experiencing the debilitating effects of discriminatory lending practices,” Ms. Kong added.

Convention highlights include: keynote address by best-selling author and noted social commentator, Tavis Smiley; presentations by successful entrepreneur, Michael V. Roberts, Chairman and CEO, The Roberts Companies, and LaVaughn M. Henry, Ph.D., Director, Economic Analysis, The PMI Group, Inc.; overview on the “State of Housing in Black America” by Dr. William Spriggs, Chair, Economics Department, Howard University, James H. Carr, Chief Operating Officer, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Frank M. Stewart, President and Chief Operating Officer, American Association of Blacks in Energy, and Lisa Rice, National Fair Housing Alliance.

Convention break-out sessions offer workshops and seminars on such topics as real estate market survival techniques, integrity standards certification and training, updates on expected legislative and regulatory changes affecting the real estate industry, and the Youth Mentorship & Leadership Academy.

Full convention details and registration information can be found by visiting the NAREB website at:

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