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Federal, State, local and nonprofit organizations made available homeownership fairs, credit counseling opportunities, down payment assistance programs and other resources to address the lack of a working knowledge/education of the home buying process which first-time homebuyers in Rhode Island often faced. However, a final barrier that hadn't been addressed was the lack of knowledge by the real estate professional of resources and the specific needs of these potential homebuyers that inhibited addressing this underserved market. Since REALTORS® are typically the main point of contact for the potential nontraditional/underserved homebuyer, the need for a training program, such as the CARE program, was the logical 'next step' to complete the circle of homeownership opportunity.

The "Community Awareness in Real Estate" (CARE) program is designed "to provide REALTORS® with education that will enhance their ability to deal with non-traditional homebuyers with the goal of providing homeownership to all individuals who seek this opportunity". The broad CARE curriculum includes courses on diversity training, fair housing, finance, using Spanish in real estate, creating a credit worthy customer and preventing foreclosure.

EDUCATION = KNOWLEDGE = POWER

The Power to turn Dreams into Reality. The education of potential homebuyers combined with awareness education for real estate professionals regarding the obstacles faced by minority communities is no doubt a win-win situation for everyone involved.

As a CARE professional, my goal is to use this financial resource to provide resources for potential first-time homebuyers in their efforts to purchase a home.

Linda J. Plouffe
Aquarius Real Estate
Ph: 401-738-8643 | Pager: 401-853-0224
Email: lplouffe23@riliving.com

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