HUD sponsored

Housing Counseling 2021 Conference: The Role of HCAs in Advancing Racial Equity


August 09, 2021 | 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EDT



This session of the 2021 Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) Community Conference continued the racial equity discussion and examined the important role housing counseling agencies play. The session featured strategies agencies are engaging to help serve communities of color in achieving their housing goals. The conversation also discussed the long-term value of financial education and the part it plays in homeownership and wealth creation.


  • Tracy Badua, Housing Program Specialist, HUD's Office of Housing Counseling: Tracy Badua is a Housing Program Specialist for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.


  • Lot Diaz, Vice President of Housing and Community Development, UnidosUS: Lautaro "Lot" Diaz is the Vice President of Housing and Community Development at UnidosUS. Lot has a background in urban planning, community development, and real estate financing and development.
  • Simone Griffin, Vice President and Financial Services Strategist, HomeFree, USA: Simone Griffin is the Vice President and Financial Services Strategist for HomeFree, USA. With experience in housing, personal finance, and public policy, she is a leader and an outspoken voice in homeownership sustainability among mortgage executives and members of Congress.
  • Rick Guzman, Executive Director, Neighbor Project, IL: Rick Guzman is the Executive Director of The Neighbor Project, a grass-roots housing and community development organization formed through the merger of Joseph Corporation and Emmanuel House, two long-time housing and home-ownership non-profits based in Aurora, Illinois. Prior to that Rick served as the City of Aurora's Manager of the Community Development Division and as the Mayor's Deputy Chief of Staff working on housing, economic development, and neighborhood planning. He continues to serve on numerous Boards and Commissions working on public policy issues in state and local government and the non-profit world.
  • Bruce Marks, CEO, Neighborhood Stabilization Corporation (NSC): Bruce Marks is the CEO of NSC. Bruce continues to expand NSC's role as lead reformer of the banking and lending industry.
  • Saffron Walker-Jaggan, Human Resources Manager, NSC: Saffron Walker-Jaggan is a Human Resources Manager for NSC. Her main area of focus is Insurance and Risk Management.

HUD's Office of Housing Counseling

Tags: Housing Counseling Program

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