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HUD in the Community: Making Inroads Into a Diverse Population

On Sunday, July 29th, 2003, a small group of HUD employees arrived at the Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York (the site of the World's Fair in 1964), ready to make an impact on a crowd of 200,000 coming from all parts of New York City for the Summer Latin Music Festival.

The goal of this outreach was to aggressively and enthusiastically market HUD's FHA and homeownership programs and to open avenues for homeownership to what turned out to be quite possibly the most diverse group of people to be found anywhere. The great majority of the people celebrating the coming of summer at the park were from Queens, the New York City Borough that holds the title of one of the most diverse population areas in the United States.

In Queens, one finds Latinos from South and Central America and the Antilles along with Koreans, Chinese, East Indians and many other Asian groups living together in a community often described as one which promotes hard work and family values. Much of the population present this day was relatively young and full of future expectations. For many, these hopes included the dream of homeownership, so many came to the HUD booth asking a consistent basic question, "Como puedo comprar una casa?" meaning, "How can I buy a house?"

The HUD staff present, often working like the parts of a production line, distributed thousands of pieces of written information and had the opportunity to provide one-on-one counseling in a number of instances. Through the counseling and conversations with interested attendees, it was also confirmed that a great many of this diverse population did have a computer at home giving way for promotion of HUD's new Spanish website.

In the end, small inroads into this diverse community were made with at least 5,000 or perhaps many more individuals walking away carrying and hopefully sharing the information HUD had to offer to assist them in their dreams for the future. The importance of HUD's presence in the community was clearly noted through this outreach a fact that underscored the importance of parts of HUD Secretary Martinez's chief priorities for the promotion of FHA and HUD programs in the Hispanic and other minority communities.

Content Archived: March 07, 2011

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