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P.O. Box 1435
San Gabriel, California 91776
Hope Awards
By Kelvin Wong

Today more American families own their homes than ever in history, but not all Americans participate equally in home ownership. Less than half of minority households enjoy the benefits of home ownership. It suggests that cultural and ethnic barriers to homeownership exist in our society. Barriers such as language, credit issues, homeownership education, lack of affordable housing and limited access to real estate services burst their American Dreams.

Six years ago a partnership of real estate associations created the HOPE (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone) Awards to recognize and identify organizations and individuals who made outstanding contributions that lead to increasing minority homeownership. The first HOPE Awards were granted to outstanding individuals and associations in 2001 at Washington D.C. Since then, the HOPE Awards were held every other year.

The HOPE Awards is an industrial program created by a partnership of seven real estate associations: the Asian Real Estate Association of America, the California Association of Real Estate Brokers, the Chinese American Real Estate Professionals Association, the Chinese Real Estate Association of America, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers and National Association of REALTORS.

Nominees will be classified in the following categories: Real Estate Brokerage, Education Program, Finance, HOPE Leadership, Media, Public policy and Project of the Year. Criteria for the awards include affordability, effectiveness, innovation and acceptance by minority communities.

The submission deadline for 2009 Awards applications is in December 2008. Each of the award winners will receive $10,000 honorarium, an opportunity to speak at news conference on minority homeownership and a prestigious trophy presented at the HOPE Awards gala celebration, to be held in Washington, D.C. in May 2009. Distinguished leaders in the nation who are recognized for their expertise in housing and minority affairs will be invited as judges to determine the winners of the HOPE Awards.

Are you working with members of minority groups and helping them become homeowners? Do you know anybody or organization that is? Somebody or perhaps you might be eligible to be nominated for the awards. To obtain information about the HOPE Awards Program and nominating forms, please contact us.

For further information, you can also visit the HOPE Awards website at www.hopeawards.org.
or contact me at kelvinwong@att.net.