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Rebuilding Wealth Through Homeownership: Black Real Estate Professionals’ National Convention to take place in Jamaica

WASHINGTON, DC – With the nation’s economic downward spiral still unchecked, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) will convene its 62nd Annual Convention to forge and solidify plans to stem the massive wealth drain among African-Americans resulting from rising foreclosures experienced by homeowners at every economic strata.

Meeting July 30 through August 2 in Montego Bay, Jamaica at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel under the banner, “Embracing Change for the Future,” the more than 600 attendees representing the full spectrum of the real estate disciplines, the financial and mortgage lending sectors, asset management, housing counselors, affordable housing advocates, and housing policy experts are expected to hammer out strategies focused upon the reversal of the current home buying and housing crisis. A Convention highlight is the passing of the gavel from out-going President Ms. Maria Kong to President-elect Vincent Wimbish.

National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) to convene 62nd Annual Convention promising to assist in recovery of minority communities by building strong collaborations and alliances.

“My tenure as NAREB’s President and CEO concludes at a difficult time when African-American homeowners continue to be under assault. The current state of distress can only be reversed with full participation and active collaboration of government at all levels, the financial services industry, housing advocates, and real estate professionals like NAREB committed to preserving minority homeowners’ equity stake in their homes,” states Maria Kong, ending a two-year term as NAREB’s President and CEO.

Maria Kong

Ms. Kong further states, “We cannot permit any more loss of wealth in our communities. The personal and national cost is far too high, and totally unacceptable.” Under her leadership, NAREB actively entered the recent public policy arena urging government intervention and policy changes to save minority homeowners from the adverse affects of unscrupulous lending practices which disproportionately targeted African-American, Latino and Asian-American homebuyers.

“NAREB’s Convention sets the tone for collaboration by all sectors involved in finding workable solutions. These three days stand as a benchmark for change. All of our voices and actions will be combined into one to achieve a three-part goal – restoring wealth to minority communities, preparing minority real estate professionals for the ever-changing home buying landscape, and developing a comprehensive strategy to stabilize and promote the value of affordable homeownership among African-American and other minority homebuyers,” Kong adds.

This year, NAREB Convention workshops and training sessions such topics as: Preparing for Recovery; REO sales strategies; market survival classes; Foreclosure Prevention Certification; roundtables with lenders and asset managers; appraisals in today’s fluid real estate marketplace, and presentations from noted economists and housing market analysts. As in previous years, more than 50 youth in attendance are scheduled to participate in the Youth Leadership and Mentorship Academy designed to motivate and encourage the young people to pursue excellence and achievement.

In addition, Convention attendees will be welcomed to Jamaica by prominent government officials. Sessions are also planned for Realtists®, the official name of NAREB members, to hear presentations about real estate issues from an international perspective.

Ms. Kong’s departure as NAREB’s president marks the first time a person of Caribbean heritage has ever held the Association’s top position. Jamaican by birth, Ms. Kong moved as a young woman to south Florida where she built a successful real estate business. Ms. Kong maintains strong business and family ties to Jamaica.

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