While minority homeownership rates have historically been around 40% (compared to almost 70% for non-minorities), minorities who bought homes within in the last 6-8 years suffered disproportionately from the subprime loan meltdown, declining property values, rising unemployment and the foreclosure crisis.
MassHousing has long believed that immigrants and minorities have been underserved when it comes to quality mortgage products. As a result, in recent years we have implemented public awareness campaigns aimed specifically at potential minority homebuyers.
Alongside spreading awareness of MassHousing's affordable and responsible fixed-rate home mortgage loans, these campaigns promote homebuyer education, financial preparedness, and well-informed decision-making.
After several years of traditional newspaper/TV/radio/Web advertising, we recently launched a new effort to reach underserved homebuyers using social media channels and retail marketing tactics. In addition to our English language Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and RSS channels, we’ve launched a Spanish Facebook page, and will soon launch one in Portuguese. Spanish and Portuguese YouTube videos and Twitter feeds will be released by summer’s end.
During a three-hour "Linea de Ayuda" (The Help Line) June 8 on Boston’s Telemundo, 150 consumers took a break from their favorite telenovelas and called in to ask MassHousing staff and lending partners about responsible homebuying.
We also recorded a series of half-hour programs that will be heard on Portuguese-language radio station Brazil 650AM, and seen on Boston-based Spanish-language MasTV. The programs address numerous homebuying and homeownership issues and will be aired during over the next 10 weeks.
MassHousing also co-sponsored the Asian-American Dragon Boat Festival on the Charles River, where we built brand awareness of our products and talked face-to-face with prospective homebuyers.
Later this summer, on August 21, MassHousing will co-sponsor the annual Latino Family Festival at Fenway Park.
These are just a few of the grass-roots outreach efforts MassHousing will be participating in over the next several months. Our goal is to support homeownership for well-informed, qualified and properly prepared minority homebuyers who may be reluctant to take advantage of today’s buyer’s market.