Hoping to help more minority families purchase homes, Stewart Title and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, a long-established minority real estate trade association, have formed a strategic alliance, the companies said.

The two will promote minority home ownership with education, counseling and programs designed to simplify the home-buying process. Stewart’s local title offices will hold classes for real estate professionals and home buyers on settlement and closing services. Stewart will also work to increase membership of existing NAREB chapters and establish new ones.

“Our mission is to expand home-ownership opportunities and help families build better lives. Our partnership with Stewart Title will allows us to work together in developing creative solutions,” said Ronald Branch, the president, NAREB. “Our organization has also designated Stewart its preferred title company.”

NAREB was founded in 1947 on the principle that all citizens have the right to equal housing opportunities, regardless of race, creed or color.

In June 2002, President Bush announced an initiative to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million families by the end of the decade. While the rate of minority Americans buying homes has increased rapidly since 2002, a disparity still exists.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, home-ownership rates for African-American and Latino households are 25 percent less than the rates for non-minority households.

By working to increase NAREB membership, Stewart aims to help create business prospects for NAREB members, known as Realtists, and expand service opportunities in the communities they serve. Composed principally of African-Americans and other minority real estate professionals, Realtists are committed to achieving the organization’s mission of democracy in housing.

“Stewart Title and NAREB are committed to developing opportunities to increase minority homeownership in America and ensure everyone is treated with the service and commitment they deserve,” said Matt Morris, senior vice president, Stewart Title. “Through this partnership, we hope to eliminate barriers so more Americans can enjoy the benefits of owning homes.”

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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