Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Soap Opera Educates Hispanics on Home Loans Sunday, December 09, 2007 -

Albuquerque, NM -Jealousy and romance aren't the typical words used in homebuyer education, but they aptly describe an educational and entertaining telenovela that is currently used in Albuquerque to teach individuals about buying a home. Several local organizations are using DVDs of the Spanish-language TV mini series, Nuestro Barrio, which was funded by Freddie Mac. The show is about Hispanic life in the United States. The organizations are hosting a kick-off event for Nuestro Barrio Nuestro Hogar on the evening of December 5 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center at 701 Fourth Street, SW in Albuquerque.

In a collective effort to more effectively reach the Hispanic community, Freddie Mac and Bank of Albuquerque (BAQ Mortgage), working together with Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership (GAHP) and United South Broadway Corporation (USBC) will utilize the new take on making homebuyer education classes entertaining as well as educational. These groups are using DVDs of the series as part of their community outreach efforts.

The 13-episode series, where hot storylines are combined with meaningful messages, subtly educates viewers on important financial issues including money management, credit, homeownership, predatory lending and foreclosure prevention. These storylines are played out against the traditional novela (soap opera) themes of romance, jealousy, greed and conflict.

Freddie Mac, one of the nation's largest investors in residential mortgages, funded the production of Nuestro Barrio. The Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina (CRA-NC) produced Nuestro Barrio. CRA-NC is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization that also produces original programming for radio and television.

"The housing market is changing, and the mortgage industry is always looking for new and creative ways to reach potential homebuyers," said Craig Nickerson, vice president of Expanding Markets at Freddie Mac. "Educational telenovelas are a unique way to reach the growing Hispanic marketplace with accurate information and to help close the homeownership gap."

"This series is a creative and exciting opportunity to reach out to the rapidly growing Hispanic segment of homebuyers," says Louis Kolker, executive director of the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership, which offers homeownership counseling and education classes in both Spanish and English. "Programs like this are particularly important at a time when financial education is crucial to getting and keeping people in their homes."

"We are very pleased to be a part of Nuestro Barrio," said Paul Sowards, president of Bank of Albuquerque. "Owning a home is a dream many families hope to one day realize. Nuestro Barrio is a resource that will help move more families toward achieving that goal.

"Freddie Mac has developed a creative and effective vehicle to provide financial education and home ownership information that is interesting and easy to understand. We look forward to working with the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership and Freddie Mac to bring this information about homeownership to individuals and families in our community."

For more information about attending a homebuyer's education class, contact Rose Perez, housing program coordinator 505-244-1614.

The Nuestro Barrio Storyline

Filmed entirely in Durham, N.C. by CRA-NC, the show is in Spanish with English subtitles. The series subtly introduces valuable lessons on numerous topics including banking, credit and homeownership. The characters learn how to achieve their dream of homeownership, as well as how to recognize and avoid predatory lending practices.

The two major locations in the series are a family-owned restaurant and a nightclub. The owners of the restaurant, Manuel and Marisol, have lived in the U.S. for many years and have seen their restaurant become a gathering place for the community. They help their family and friends navigate life in the U.S. by sharing their experiences, offering guidance and connecting them to community resources.


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