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.
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. Continue reading »