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William “Bill” Arce

Name: William “Bill” Arce

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

City of Jacksonville Housing and Neighborhoods Department

CHCI HOGAR Fellowship 2006

1. What have you been doing since you finished the CHCI program(s)?

I have been working with the City of Jacksonville implementing the foreclosure and anti-predatory lending campaign for Duval County. According to Forbes Magazine, Jacksonville, FL is becoming the foreclosure capital of the country. I assist managing the City of Jacksonville’s downpayment assistance program for low and moderate-income homebuyers.

2. What impact did your CHCI experience have on your career and development as a leader?

CHCI exposed me to a wide range of industry leaders, a network of Latinos and non-Latinos who share the passion of sustainable homeownership. I learned that to close the gap of homeownership between Latinos and others, we must do more than just sell houses. Trust, education and honest dealing will be the only way to help the Latino community reach the “American Dream.” We need the support of the entire industry to avoid another sub-prime fiasco.

3. How have you stayed engaged in community service?

As Congressman Baca had mentioned, lack of financial literacy is one of the causes of the foreclosure crisis among Latinos. Education has become my own personal crusade. That it is why I remain committed to RealEstateLatino.com (REL), an online bilingual community that I founded in 2004 with the purpose of educating Latinos. REL offers me a unique opportunity to engage with thousands of Latinos all across the nation, not just those from my hometown. I am able to help them avoid foreclosure, buy the right home or simply answer their questions honestly.

4. What advice would you give current and future CHCI participants?

Learn as much as you can, devote yourself to the program, it pays off. Meet as many people as you can and keep networking. Be humble and respect everybody. Make friends and have fun on whatever is that you end-up doing.

5.Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

Hopefully working in a more trusted real estate environment. I will continue to engage and educate Latinos and serve as an online resource center. I plan to help build a more stable and safe housing market for Latinos and others.