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Industry Vets Launch New Group to Advocate for America’s Homeowners

""America's Homeowner Alliance"":http://www.myaha.com announced Wednesday that it is officially open for membership.


Launched by a team of industry veterans and an advisory board made up of representatives from the housing industry, prominent consumer groups, and fair housing organizations, America's Homeowner Alliance is the first nationally organized group dedicated to protecting and promoting sustainable homeownership for all segments of America.

The Alliance is based in St. Louis, Missouri, and serves as the representative public policy voice of the nation's 75 million existing homeowners as well as aspiring homeowners. It is a nonpartisan organization, representing homeowners of all ethnic, income, and demographic backgrounds. The mission of the Alliance is to protect and promote sustainable homeownership for all segments of America.

Phil Bracken, Alliance chairman and founder, said, ""In terms of public policy, America's homeowners have never had a collective voice of their own to promote their best interests. It's time to take America's homeowners off the menu and give them a seat at the table.""

The immediate goals of America's Homeowner Alliance include:

* Defending the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID)
* Preserving the low down payment mortgage
* Maintaining availability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
* Protecting consumers from excess cost and less available mortgage financing
* Reducing government dominance of mortgage credit/encouraging more private capital
* Addressing the lack of new home construction lending
* Protecting home values

The Alliance's mission is to serve as the litmus test for which all laws, regulations, government, and business practices are examined. To help ensure a strong voice for homeowners in Washington D.C. and throughout America, the organization will draft policy positions and vet them through the seasoned members of its advisory board, as well as additional key housing industry leaders.

""My colleagues and I are thrilled to formally launch America's Homeowner Alliance … [after more than] two years of planning,"" Bracken commented.


Bracken has worked in housing for more than 35 years. He is a recipient of the Eagle Award from the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB); the Founders Award from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP); and the Andrew Woodward Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor an individual can receive from fellow members of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. He has helped build a growing team of experts assigned to analyze legislation, regulation, and business practices and advocate for public policy on behalf of all U.S. homeowners.

Tino Diaz, former chairman of NAHREP, will serve as the Alliance's president. The organization's advisory board members include:

* Stella Adams, former executive director of the North Carolina Fair Housing Alliance
* Jerry Ascencio, past chairman of NAHREP
* Armando Falcon, former director of the Office of Federal Housing Oversight, the GSES' regulator
* Mark Goldhaber, principal of Goldhaber Policy Services, LLC
* Ed Gorman, EVP of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition
* Shawn Krause, EVP at Quicken Loans
* Joe Murin, former president of Ginnie Mae
* Lisa Rice, VP of the National Fair Housing Alliance
* Cy Richardson, SVP of the National Urban League
* Donnell Spivey, president of NAREB
* John Wong, past chairman of the Asian Real Estate Association of America
* Barry Zigas, director of housing policy for the Consumer Federation of America

The idea to establish an alliance to represent U.S. homeowners resulted from a common need identified by Bracken and the advisory and leadership team: Of the 17 million new households expected to form in the next 15 years, approximately 13 million will consist of traditional minorities.

“Although homes are currently more affordable than at any point in the past 15 years, and mortgage rates are near their lowest in history, homeownership rates are falling in every segment of the U.S. population,” Bracken noted. Since the peak of the housing market in 2007, information from the Federal Reserve indicates single-family homeowners lost nearly $7 trillion in aggregate value. The Alliance aims to address each of these challenges head-on.

The Alliance expects to attract a material share of the nation’s 75 million homeowners in the first few years. In addition to advocacy, the Alliance offers a range of member benefits and resources to assist in successful homeownership, including a rewards purchasing program with more than 1,000 retail outlets--among them Home Depot, Lowes, and Sears. Like other rewards programs, points will be earned on every product purchased through participating merchants and can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, or other benefits. Dues are currently $20 per year.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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