September 26, 2007 — El Paso, Texas
(L-R): State Rep. Norma Chavez; Texas first-time homeowner Sara Arzate; Sonja Van Nortwick, president of the Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS®; and Michael Gerber, TDHCA executive director, at Sept. 21 news conference in El Paso.
Today, state Rep. Norma Chavez, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and the Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS® announced the release of $160 million in homebuyer funds dedicated to making Texans’ dreams of homeownership come true. TDHCA is making these funds available through its Texas First Time Homebuyer Program in the form of low-interest-rate loans.
Michael Gerber, executive director of TDHCA, made the formal announcement during a noon TDHCA news conference held in conjunction with a REALTOR® affordable-housing training event.
Local television camera crews, print media representatives and approximately 100 REALTORS® were on hand. The local REALTORS® were already there for United Texas: Housing Initiatives that Work – a four-hour training program that infuses them with specialized knowledge to better serve first-time homebuyers. This statewide initiative educates real estate professionals on resources available for first-time homebuyers, including those with special financing needs.
Education regarding affordable housing opportunities for Texans has never been more important. Facing a gap that ranks Texas 42nd among 50 states in homeownership, the Texas REALTORS®, along with partners Fannie Mae, the Texas Veterans Land Board and TDHCA, is committed to helping more Texans achieve the dream of homeownership through the United Texas program.
“REALTORS® are always looking for ways to better serve the unique needs of first-time buyers,” said Sonja Van Nortwick, president of the Greater El Paso Association REALTORS®. “This news conference and United Texas course provide an excellent opportunity to explore new ways to improve service to our clients locally while helping to improve homeownership levels statewide.”