A new groups billing itself as an
AARP for homeowners has announced it is accepting members. The group, America's Homeowner Alliance, says
its aim is "to serve as the voice for the nation's 75 million existing homeowners
as well as for aspiring homeowners, and claims as its advisory members a group
of individuals with backgrounds in a wide range of housing industry areas.
The non-profit Alliance said in a
press release that its mission is to protect and promote sustainable
homeownership for all segments of America and that it will analyze, educate,
and involve homeowners in major issues surrounding sustainable
The organization plans to center
its initial advocacy activities on a number of policy issues including
defending the mortgage interest deduction, maintaining availability of the
30-year fixed-rate mortgage, addressing the lack of new home construction
financing, protecting home values, and reducing what it called government
domination of mortgage credit.
Membership includes a shopping program affiliated
with major companies such as Sears and Home Depot. Members can earn "points" for shopping with
the program affiliates.
The organization was founded by Phil Bracken who is
described as a "35-year veteran of the housing industry" and recipient of
awards from the National Association of Real Estate Brokers and the Mortgage
Bankers Association. Other officers and
advisory group members have past or present affiliations with such companies,
organizations, or agencies as the National Urban League, Ginnie Mae, National
Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Office of Federal
Housing Enterprise Oversight, Quicken Loans, and the Consumer Federation of
Tino Diaz, Alliance President, said the group will
"focus on examining the policies of both government and private entities so
that we can serve as an 'ombudsman' for homeowners, providing protection from
abusive or bad practices in the marketplace."