Nashville Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and HUD's Nashville Office Team Up for the largest Latino Homeownership Event in Tennessee

Monday, July 11, 2005

Months of planning by the newly formed Middle Tennessee Hispanic Partnership, composed of some 25 entities, and pulled together by HUD, the NAHREP of Middle Tennessee, housing advocates and community leaders, produced a successful "Fiesta Del Hogar" Latino homeownership event on June 19, 2005 at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The event was classified an "outstanding and successful endeavor."

[Photo 1: Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency Executive Director, Phil Ryan and Fair Housing Coordinator, Esperanza Soriano]
Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency Executive Director, Phil Ryan and Fair Housing Coordinator, Esperanza Soriano express Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell's best wishes for a successful event.

During an event for "Fair Housing Month," Mr. Miguel Torres, local NAHREP President, and Terry Livingston, HUD-Nashville Operations Analyst, met and decided to plan an event similar to one previously held in Nashville at the Woodbine Community Center. Plans for the new event would be more challenging than ever. "We decided to bring in all of our Middle Tennessee partners for this one," said Livingston. The Partnership decided to invite all interested parties from Nashville, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and from all over Middle Tennessee. The Fiesta would be the largest-ever planned event, to include officials from the City of Murfreesboro and agencies from all sectors.

[Photo 2: Bill Dirl and Miguel Torres present award to Cynthia Howard]
HUD-Nashville Field Office Director Bill Dirl and Master of Ceremonies Miguel Torres present an award plaque to Cynthia Howard of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.

"The committee chairpersons assisted us tremendously because we depended on all of them to contact government officials and to get the word out all over Middle Tennessee," said Miguel Torres. "Without the total community effort by all the prime leaders of the Partnership, we could not have held such a huge event. The Nashville Field Office considered this a unique opportunity to show the area how interested HUD is to promote minority homeownership and be a community partner," said Field Office Director, William Dirl.

[Photo 3: Participant display at the Middle Tennessee Hispanic and first-time Homeowners Fair]
Some 50 organizations attended this, the first-ever Middle Tennessee Hispanic and first-time Homeowners Fair.

HUD Headquarters sent Community Planning Development's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grants Program, Anna Maria Farias, to attend and greet the crowd at the event, held on Fathers Day. She greeted the primarily Latino audience in Spanish and talked of the importance of personal wealth and homeownership, as proclaimed by President Bush and HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson during HUD's recent Homeownership Month activities.

"This event was unique because we paired the activity with a Mexican rodeo that was being held in the auditorium on the same day. Those attending the rodeo, also had the opportunity to visit our event," said Torres. The participation of some 50 local, state and federal public service agencies, banks, lenders, realtors, civic organizations, non-profit agencies, food vendors, and media outlets, proved to the community that Nashville cares. "Whenever it decides to plan and perform an outstanding event for whatever reason, it can be done, and it can be done with style," said Livingston.

[Photo 4: Terry Livingston, Nashville Operations Analyst and the HUD display]
One visitor to the HUD display "clowned around" while listening to Terry Livingston, Nashville Operations Analyst.

Olga Breeskin, sang and played her violin, as she mixed with the audience. "All of the movers and shakers are here � all the planning and scheduling and meetings, and all of the dedication by all of our partners from A to Z � the support by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency of Nashville, the State of Tennessee Agencies, HUD and all the federal agencies and all the rest - - - to all of you, I thank you," said Torres.

The local Hispanic population thanks you, too, Miguel. Even though "thousands" did not attend, the word is out and the ball is in motion for next year's Hispanic Homeownership Fair. In the meantime, congratulations to our new homeowners who participated in this year's first Hispanic Homeownership Fair.

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