I want to take a moment to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. As I am sure you all know, the diverse Hispanic and Latinx communities across the country and here in Florida are reshaping and contributing mightily to the American experience.
By 2020, Hispanics/Latinx will comprise the majority of new household formations. Approximately 60% of our clients are Hispanic/Latinx, and whether they have been here in South Florida for four days or forever, we are here to serve them. Our mission is to elevate communities often left out of mainstream opportunities like housing, jobs, health care.
This will be an exciting and challenging time serving the Hispanic community, as many are disproportionality affected by COVID 19. But the excitement is in the financial growth and empowerment of the community as Hispanic/Latinx people will comprise 56 percent of all new homebuyers by 2030, according to the Urban Institute.
And in many ways, I can thank my career to a Latino man my mother introduced me to as I entered college. He stated something I never forgot when he said, “I am a housing developer. I get to do what I love, make good money, and help my community”. Until then, I always thought doing good meant not doing well financially.
There is a lesson in his wisdom for NHSSF as well: Our capacity to help our communities and build sustainability for the agency. And while I am going down memory lane, I have also been inspired by former Secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros, who is widely credited with championing policies to increase homeownership!
So how do we recognize this month? You can support small Hispanic/Latinx owned businesses. Encourage your Hispanic/Latinx friends and family to build wealth through home and business ownership. Read and understand the history, contributions, and promise of diverse Hispanic/Latinx communities all across the United States.
Reflect on the ideal that together, we are stronger. Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month to all!
Kimberly T. Henderson
CEO and President of NHSSF