By Stacey Moncrieff, Editor in Chief, REALTOR® Magazine
I had an opportunity Thursday to spend some time at a symposium and reception Thursday, where REALTORS® attending the Midyear Legislative Meetings were celebrating the work of the 2011 HOPE Award winners.
The Home Ownership Participation for Everyone (HOPE) Awards is a national industry awards program that recognizes individuals and organizations that are working to increase and sustain minority home ownership, revitalize communities, and expand affordable housing opportunities.
Winners are named in seven categories, including education, financing, and brokerage. But at the symposium, the 2011 winners agreed that education was the common thread among all the winners. As the housing crisis has unfolded, I’ve seen a lot of news stories focused on the disproportionate impact on minorities.
Phyllis Caldwell, director of the Center for Home Ownership in Winston-Salem, N.C., with NAR CEO Dale Stinton at a reception May 12 honoring the Center and six other HOPE Award winners.
That’s why I was struck by the work of the HOPE winner in the education category, the Center for Homeownership, in Winston-Salem, N.C. According to Center Director Phyllis Caldwell, the center has seen an overall foreclosure rate of less than 2 percent. “Education is absolutely the key,” Caldwell told me at the reception.
You can learn more about this year’s winners at the HOPE Winners Gallery at HopeAwards.org. Briefly:
Education Award: Center for Homeownership, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Forsyth County Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C.
The central housing education, counseling, and resource agency for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County residents, formed through a collaborative partnership of local government, community housing service providers, lenders, and real estate practitioners.
Finance Award: Movin’ Out Inc., Madison Wis.
Helps individuals with permanent disabilities and their families attain and sustain safe, affordable, and integrated home ownership outside of group housing so they may fully participate in their community.
Leadership Award: David W. Bland, Travois Inc., Kansas City, Mo.
Bland founded Travois 15 years ago to offer development and financing assistance, support, and training to American Indian tribes who suffer from some of the highest poverty rates and worst housing conditions in the nation.
Media Award: eHome America, Community Ventures Corp., Lexington, Ky.
A multilingual, online home buyer education tool offering a low-cost option for offering high-quality home buyer education to individuals in rural areas of the state with limited local resources.
Policy Award: Alejandro Becerra, author and consultant, Silver Spring, Md.
For nearly three decades, Becerra has advocated for policies to increase and sustain minority ownership. Becerra recently published a book, “Hispanic Homeownership: The Key to America’s Housing and Economic Renewal.”
Kerry Quaglia, left, with Mary Jo Richer, at the HOPE Awards reception Thursday. Quaglia is executive director and Richer is real estate manager of HOPE winner Home Headquarters Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y.
Project Award: Home HeadQuarters Inc., Syracuse, N.Y.
A not-for-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing neighborhoods in central and upstate New York.
Real Estate Brokerage Award: Adamo Realty Network LLC, Miami.
Helping culturally diverse South Florida residents, including first- and second-generation immigrant families, achieve the American dream of home ownership.
The HOPE Awards program has granted awards every other year since 2001. The awards are sponsored by a partnership of real estate associations. Winners receive $10,000 grants for their programs.