In an effort to enable more African Americans and Latinos in Louisville, Ky., and Albuquerque, N.M., to take the important steps toward home ownership, Freddie Mac has partnered with housing agencies, Realtor boards and banks for a new awareness and outreach campaign that debunks common misconceptions about buying a home.

The campaign, “Homeownership: Let the TRUTH Move You” or “¿Tu propia casa? ¡Atrevete!” will provide straightforward and up-to-date information about all aspects of home ownership, including costs associated with home buying and credit history requirements through a series of one-hour educational sessions in English and Spanish.

Research conducted by Freddie Mac suggests that reliable, accurate information about home buying may not be reaching minority communities. The research uncovered several common misconceptions about home buying among African Americans and Latinos. For example, about half of African Americans and Latinos believe that they need a 20 percent down payment to buy a home, and that they need almost perfect credit to get a loan. In addition, more than half of African Americans and Latinos believe that they must have the same job for at least three years to get a loan.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, home-ownership rates for African American and Latino households are 25 percent lower than the rates for non-minority households. In Louisville, the home-ownership rate is 40 percent for African Americans, 30 percent for Latinos and 74 percent for non-minorities. In Albuquerque, the home-ownership rate is 66 percent for Latinos, 46 percent for African Americans and 71 percent for non-minorities.

In Louisville, the Louisville Urban League and National City Corp. will team up with Freddie Mac for the campaign. The Louisville Urban League will conduct the next educational session on Sat., Aug. 6 at noon.

In Albuquerque, Freddie Mac will join forces with United South Broadway Corp., Albuquerque Metropolitan Board of Realtors and the Bank of Albuquerque. United South Broadway Corp. will conduct the educational sessions at it offices at 1500 Walter St. S.E. in Albuquerque. The next sessions will be held in English and Spanish on July 19 at 6 p.m. and July 23 at 9 a.m.

Individuals are encouraged to call a toll-free number 1-866-7TRUTHS, or 1-877-ATREVE-1 in Spanish to register for the free educational sessions.

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