Freddie Mac, Lenders Collaborate to Launch Homeownership Themed Telenovela on PBS Spanish Language Stations
|May 22, 2007|
MCLEAN, Va., -- Romance, jealousy and a mortgage? Nuestro Barrio (Our Neighborhood), a Spanish-language TV mini-series about Hispanic life in the United States will be shown in 10 media markets beginning June 1, on the new PBS-created V-me (Veh-Meh) Spanish language network. Nuestro Barrio is at the forefront of a new trend of television programming called "edutainment," a combination of education and entertainment to produce programming that is both informative and engaging.
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, which are played out against the traditional novela (soap opera) themes of romance, jealousy, greed and conflict.
Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) , one of the nation's largest investors in residential mortgages, funded the production of Nuestro Barrio. Bank of America, Bank of Texas Mortgage Group, Chase Home Finance, Countrywide Home Loans, Harris Bank and Bank of Albuquerque are advertising on the series when it airs in some of their local markets, and will use DVDs of the series for outreach in the communities they serve. They view the series as a creative way to reach out to the rapidly growing Hispanic segment of homebuyers and to provide important financial information.
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.
Telenovelas historically have been popular with viewers in Central and South American countries. With the growth of Hispanic households in the United States, the number of telenovelas shown here has increased in Hispanic and English language broadcast media.
"The U.S. housing market is changing, challenging the mortgage industry to develop new and creative ways to reach potential homebuyers," said Craig Nickerson, vice president of Freddie Mac. "Many Hispanic families do not pursue homeownership due to misinformation, lack of trust of financial institutions and language barriers. Educational telenovelas are a unique way to reach the growing Hispanic marketplace with accurate information and to help close the homeownership gap."
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.
Hispanic Homeownership Outreach and Education
"We are very excited that Freddie Mac had the foresight to see the value Nuestro Barrio can have in connecting viewers to important information, says Dilsey Davis, producer and director of Nuestro Barrio. "Nuestro Barrio strikes the perfect balance between drama and information, appealing to both a young vibrant immigrant population and crossing over to English speaking consumers who are eager to learn more about Latino culture and community resources."
Felix DeHerrera, chairman of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) added, "The Nuestro Barrio telenovela is an inventive and creative way to deliver important information about homeownership to the Hispanic community. Thanks to the collaboration between Freddie Mac and lenders, NAHREP members will have another powerful tool that will help them create an understanding among Latinos about the home buying process."
Nickerson added, "Nuestro Barrio subtly spreads educational messages in a culturally-sensitive manner. Educating consumers about smart credit choices, helping them understand the importance of building and maintaining good credit, and demystifying the homeownership process will empower them with the skills and information necessary to get on the path to homeownership."
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that over the next 15 years, minority households will comprise more than one-half of the overall increase in homeowners, with Hispanic households outpacing other groups.
Nuestro Barrio provides an opportunity for lenders to collaborate with housing counseling agencies. Housing counselors help potential borrowers improve their financial standing and prepare for the homebuying process. Counseled homebuyers experience lower rates of mortgage delinquency. By working with housing counseling agencies, lenders can reach even more borrowers, including first-time homebuyers, minorities, immigrants and low-to moderate-income borrowers.
In addition, lenders can use the Nuestro Barrio DVD at homebuyer education workshops, housing fairs and community events. Many also plan to distribute the DVD to customers and other housing partners. The DVD includes an insert, or photonovela, that recaps the lessons learned in the series in a way that is memorable and fun to read.
Nuestro Barrio is shown on V-me every Friday for 26 weeks beginning June 1 at 5 p.m. and again on Sundays at 4 p.m., except in Central Standard Time areas it will air at 4 p.m. on Fridays and at 3 p.m. on Sundays. Nuestro Barrio will be shown in these markets:
1. Miami 2. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL 3. San Antonio, TX 4. New York/New Jersey Metro (Jersey City) 5. Sacramento-Stkton-Modesto, CA 6. San Diego, CA 7. Fresno-Visalia, CA 8. Chicago, IL 9. Houston, TX 10. Albuquerque, NM
Last year, the show aired on other stations in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, Miami Fort/Lauderdale and numerous stations in North and South Carolina. For more information visit, http://www.nuestrobarrio.tv/.
Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation established by Congress in 1970 to support homeownership and rental housing. Freddie Mac purchases single-family and multifamily residential mortgages and mortgage-related securities, which it finances primarily by issuing mortgage-related securities and debt instruments in the capital markets. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible more than 50 million times, ensuring financing for one in six homebuyers and more than four million renters. For additional information about Freddie Mac, visit: http://www.freddiemac.com/.
CRA-NC is a non-profit advocacy group that exists to promote and protect community wealth. CRA-NC advocates for change in lending practices of financial institutions to promote wealth building for underserved communities and to end predatory lending practices that strip wealth. Based in Durham, NC, CRA-NC is committed to creative advocacy using research, education, mobilization, media, litigation, regulatory challenges, legislative advocacy and stockholder actions to initiate change.
Website: http://www.freddiemac.com/ Website: http://www.nuestrobarrio.tv/
Source: Freddie Mac