The National Association of Real Estate Brokers Launches 25 City, $1.2 Billion "Boots on the Ground" Homeowner's Assurance Program

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rasmus Real Estate Group

HAP is designed to purchase, renovate and sell REO properties purchased from HUD and other holders of REO assets, to first time homebuyers and other homebuyers who are caught in the current credit crisis due to historically high foreclosures.

Source: PR Newswire

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB®) is proud to announce the launch of a 25-City, $1.2 billion REO and non-performing loan foreclosure mitigation program called the Homeowner's Assurance Program (HAP). The initiative is designed to address the devastating effects of the foreclosure and mortgage crises on communities across America. A press conference to formally announce the program roll out will take place on Friday, February 24th at9:00 a.m. in the Balboa Room at the Miami Beach Resort & Spa Hotel, 4833 Collins Avenue, in Miami. HUD Atlanta Regional Administrator Ed Jennings will be in attendance. It will be one of several activities taking place at NAREB's 65th Annual Mid-Winter Conference (February 21 – 25).

The Homeowner's Assurance Program is an industry led private solution to the mortgage crisis. NAREB has a vast network of industry professionals including: Realtists®, brokers, sales agents, appraisers, mortgage brokers, and loan officers as well as practical experts in pre and post counseling, loss mitigation, foreclosure, property management, housing construction, and development. Therefore, NAREB will serve as the "boots on the ground" for HAP to provide the agent infrastructure to manage, market and dispose of non-performing loans and REO assets acquired under the HAP program to first time homebuyers and other homebuyers who are stuck in the process of purchasing a home. Private and Wall Street investors are providing the $1.2 billion in initial capital for the program roll-out in 25 markets. HAP's deployment of capital to purchase, renovate and sell REO properties will generate jobs and income for real estate-related small businesses in the targeted markets. A beta test is already taking place in the Atlanta MSA and the official roll-out of subsequent markets will take place in Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, and Baltimore beginning the second quarter of this year.

"The goal of HAP," says NAREB President, Julius Cartwright, "is to bring back the American Dream to millions of people throughout the nation. We're seeing a wholesale eviction of families, and tens of thousands of vacant and blighted properties in cities that have been historically stable homeownership communities. We have the experience, expertise, and tools to provide a 'boots on the ground' effort to identify and screen qualified buyers for these properties, and help sustain or rebuild impacted neighborhoods. Our HAP initiative will preserve wealth in hard hit communities. We are proud to be a national resource to assist HAP in converting REO properties back to homeownership."

"We welcome NAREB's initiative of aligning efforts with HUD's mission of providing quality affordable homes for all," said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings Jr. "HUD real estate owned (REO) single-family properties, known as HUD Homes, are initially offered to owner-occupant purchasers who are buying the home as their primary residence. Following the priority period for owner occupants, unsold properties are available to all buyers, including investors. We are pleased to hear NAREB's interest in buying HUD properties that have been on the market for more than four months, and their comprehensive approach of partnering with other entities to get them back into move-in condition. And we are delighted to hear they will use HUD approved housing counseling agencies in order to sell the homes to families who have been counseled about the responsibilities of becoming homeowners.

"We hope NAREB's program will have many positive impacts including stabilizing neighborhoods, creating employment, and enhancing economic development. We recognize that HUD can be a complex agency to understand and to navigate, but our doors are always open to provide education, information and technical assistance to organizations working to help restore and rebuild our communities," concluded Jennings.

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