MBA CONVERGENCE Partner Profile: Cheryl Muhammad, Assured Real Estate Services
(One in a recurring series about MBA CONVERGENCE, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s affordable housing initiative.)
Cheryl Muhammad is owner and CEO of Assured Real Estate Services, Memphis, Tenn., which she founded in 2005. She is responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations. She has been an award-winning full-time real estate agent since 1999. She serves as Co-Chair of the CONVERGENCE Memphis Information and Trust Gap Workstream.
MBA NEWSLINK: What is your role in CONVERGENCE and why is it important to you?
CHERYL MUHAMMAD: CONVERGENCE Memphis efforts to revitalize and increase affordable housing in targeted areas of Memphis, is in line with the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ mission of democracy in housing for all. It is important for me to collaborate with this organization because it makes us stronger together in the efforts to increase the African American home ownership rate.
African Americans are disproportionately affected by the affordable housing crisis. CONVERGENCE Memphis is focused on bringing more homes to the market by revitalizing and building affordable decent, safe homes in areas of Memphis, such as, Frayser, Glenview and Whitehaven, where there is a high concentration of African Americans who can become homeowners.
CONVERGENCE has a team of people dedicated to educating residents about the importance and benefits of owning their own property. This group is comprised into various workstreams. The Information and Trust Gap workstream, which I co-chair, debunks myths that have prevented many potential homeowners from buying homes for fear that it would be too much effort or not worth the risk. We delight in getting our message out via videos and messages on social media sites and events.
NEWSLINK: What has been your most meaningful accomplishment or experience since working with CONVERGENCE?
MUHAMMAD: I had the experience of participating in the Memphis Virtual Homebuyer Fair in April. The other panelists and I talked about the benefits of homebuying with almost 200 aspiring homeowners in the Memphis community. Among the topics of discussion were, why buy now, steps to homeownership and how to get Down payment assistance; a needed resource with first time homebuyers in this current market. We will continue to engage communities around issues impacting those interested in or considering buying homes.
NEWSLINK: What CONVERGENCE initiative or project are you most excited for in the future?
MUHAMMAD: I am excited about hosting a Foreclosure Prevention information session for consumers. Those who are in need of assistance will learn ways they can avoid foreclosure. This is particularly important before the foreclosure moratorium expires and causes more African American homeownership decline within our communities. This effort aims to keep African American homeownership rates at a healthy level and avoid losing any gains in African American homeownership to foreclosures.
NEWSLINK: What else would you share with MBA members who want to learn more about CONVERGENCE?
MUHAMMAD: CONVERGENCE Memphis is an organization that has been established to help close the gap in homeownership rate for African Americans. They are doing it by bringing together real estate, lender, nonprofit, and government professionals who are eager and willing to lend their expertise for this project, which can be successful here at home as well as other cities across America! Get involved and make a difference.
CONVERGENCE is driving collective action with lenders, other industry participants and government partners to facilitate new solutions to our nation’s rental and housing affordability challenges. By using a cohesive approach, CONVERGENCE promotes more sustainable, affordable homes for purchase and rental for underserved people and communities, especially minorities and low-to-moderate-income Americans.
For more information, visit https://www.mba.org/advocacy-and-policy/convergence.