Illinois REALTORS® shine at National Policy Conference

The spirit of service is inherent in so many of Illinois REALTORS® members, it often goes unnoticed since most are not looking for accolades, they are looking for progress. However, this week at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Annual Policy Conference and Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., these members got both.

Accolades for service

Congratulations to the Chicago Chapter of NAHREP for receiving the Chapter of the Year award and earning recognition for its success in Financial Performance, Sponsor Engagement and Board Management at the Leadership Academy.

These awards are no surprise since the commitment of members extends beyond the local chapter to involvement at the state and national levels. At the gala, Joe Castillo, Broker/Owner of Mi Casa Real Estate in Chicago was installed as a national board member, and Genie Birch, Broker at Century 21 Affiliated in Lincolnwood, serves as Chair of the Diversity Committee at NAR and welcomed the group at their reception. Gaspar Flores, Jr., the current Chicago Chapter president, serves on the Illinois REALTOR® Strategic Thinkers Working Group and the Housing Opportunity Working Group. This is a short list of their involvement but underscores why they have achieved so much success.

Members of the Chicago Chapter are contributing to NAHREP’s advocacy efforts this week. They headed to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to share with members of Congress their position on topics like: immigration, the building of the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, homeownership, the mortgage interest deduction and promoting small business.

Progress realized

These members have seen results from the NAHREP Hispanic Wealth Project through the increase in Hispanic homeownership. According to the 2016 State of Hispanic Homeownership that was presented at the conference, Hispanic homeownership accounted for almost 80 percent of the year-over-year homeownership growth from 2015 to 2016.

A Fannie Mae survey cited as part of the project explained that Hispanics have many reasons for valuing homeownership, including:

  • The environment for raising children,
  • control over one’s living space,
  • building wealth and
  • property rights through the ability to control one’s own living space.

The conference provided a great opportunity to see Illinois REALTORS® show their commitment to real estate and homeownership while celebrating their culture and community.

Congratulations NAHREP Chicago from all of us at Illinois REALTORS®!

(Photos by Sharon Gorrell, Jessica Barrera, Erika Villegas and Gaspar Flores, Jr.)

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