Tapping the Ethnic Housing Market Opportunities and Challenges for Housing Lenders and Realtors The tables in the text make it clear that there is a large gap between the minority population and the general population in regard to knowledge and education about the housing market. Housing discrimination and unethical lending practices are at the root of this problem. Housing and communities remain segregated despite all of the progress America has made since the Civil Rights Movement.

Minorities are more likely to live in low income communities and also suffer the side effects of poverty such as a lack of education and job opportunities (Fight Poverty, 2012). Past research has shown that minorities are, in fact, treated differently both when trying to rent or buy a home. While evidence indicates that incidents of housing discrimination are decreasing, it is still a significant problem. There are noted cases of whites being chosen over minorities to rent an apartment based on nothing other than color.

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In addition, African American and Hispanic people attempting to buy a home are sometimes shown lower quality homes and given less quality information about the home buying process. This of course leads to minorities being taken advantage of in the form of not knowing about different types of loan options or down payments (HUD, 2012). As further evidence of housing discrimination, Section 8 properties are often frequently protested by non minority community members to the point that community meetings are held on the topic.

It seems that non-minorities would rather keep Housing Projects and low-income housing in crowded urban areas. In addition, homes in predominantly white areas rise in value at a much higher and faster rate than do similar homes in lower income areas where a high percentage of minorities live (Seitles, 2012). Furthermore, as tables in the text indicate, language is a major barrier, as Spanish Hispanics consistently scored very low on understanding the home buying process. A high percentage even believes that loan information is only available in English.

This is very indicative of the ways in which minorities have been taken advantage of in the housing market. Marketing Strategy The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website is an excellent place to start when thinking about a marketing plan. This website outlines all of the ways in which HUD is trying to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure that people of all races have the same opportunities for home ownership. HUD’s mission is “to promote non-discrimination and ensure fair and equal housing opportunities for all” (HUD, 2012).

In addition, “HUD-funded grant recipients are obligated under various laws not to discriminate in housing or services directly or indirectly on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, or disability” (HUD, 2012). It is important to get this information out to the minority community. So much trust has been lost in recent years because of unethical housing processes, so any marketing plan must involve providing people with factual information from trusted sources.

It is clear from the tables in the text that minorities have been severely misinformed about the home buying process and lack reliable sources for information. Ethical lenders and real estate agencies could begin to tap the minority housing market simply by beginning to advertise and get the word out that there are reliable and ethical people still left in the industry. This plan applies to African Americans, Spanish Hispanics and American Hispanics. The only difference in the marketing plan will be to have printed material available in Spanish as well as Spanish speaking real estate professionals available.

The advertising campaign should encourage people to come into the office for a free “Where are you on the path to home buying” checkup. People who choose to come in should be provided with a variety of information including common myths as well as information about the steps including in buying a home. So many of the problems with housing inequality started because of minorities being treated differently and not being taught the facts. It is out in the open that people were given loans that the banks knew they could not afford to pay back.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of the professionals to restore this faith by teaching the minorities targeted in this campaign about the realities of how to save for a home as well as how to figure out what they can afford. This will also show the minorities who access the free service that there are real estate agents and lending professionals who have their best interests in mind and truly want to help them be able to own a home without being taken advantage of. Advertising As previously mentioned, all advertising should be done in both Spanish and English.

In regard to reaching the target audience, obviously lower to middle class neighborhoods should be targeted. Public transportation hubs can be great places to place flyers and even send professionals out to talk to the people. Local newspapers should also be peppered with ads about the new free classes, making sure to use some Spanish newspapers as well as English ones. Local markets and churches are excellent places to advertise. Because this is a service that is dedicated to helping the community, it is even possible that some ministers or priests would be willing to mention it to parishioners after Sunday services.

Television advertising should be done, with care taken to advertise on channels that the target audience tends to watch. Community centers and Laundromats are also good ideas of places to advertise. The overall positioning of course is regaining trust as well as education. It is important for the real estate professionals and lenders participating to build relationships with the people coming in to the office to learn more about budgeting, home buying and loans. Trust is key, and must be earned back from this population that was so taken advantage of in the past decades.

It would also be useful if some of the professionals working to help the clients are minority home owners. This will give a sense of relate ability. In terms of copy points, positive statements such as “You can do it. We CAN help” and “We can do this together” are good, because they give the consumer the idea that they are not on their own and someone wants to help. Visuals should also be positive, such as showing a minority family in front of their new home or signing mortgage papers. The fact that there has been so much inequality makes this a real uphill battle for real estate agents and lenders.

Fortunately, statistics such as those presented in the text, direct attention to what should be focused on in a marketing plan. The housing market is still on a decline, but the hope is that with proper budgeting and planning, more minorities will be well-informed home buyers by the time the market gets back on track. References Fight Poverty. (2012, January 20). Causes of Poverty. Retrieved from Fight Poverty: http://www. fightpoverty. mmbrico. com/poverty/reasons. html HUD. (2012, January 20). Fair Housing - Part 2: Interesting Statistics from HUD's 2008 Annual Repot.

Retrieved from Petrie Stocking: http://petriestocking. com/blog/2009/07/10/fair-housing-part-2-interesting-statistics-from-huds-2008-annual-report/ HUD. (2012, January 20). Promoting Fair Housing. Retrieved from HUD: http://portal. hud. gov/hudportal/HUD? src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/promotingfh Seitles, M. (2012, January 20). The Perpetuation of Residential Racial Segregation In America. Retrieved from Florida State University: http://www. law. fsu. edu/journals/landuse/vol141/seit. htm