[Update 1: Adds comment from NAHREP chair Tino Diaz.] The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) this week launched its 2010 initiatives including a new membership program, a multimedia Web site and the debut of NAHREP CONNECT, a social networking service for Hispanic real estate professionals. “NAHREP has created new ways for members to connect and get info from leading experts through our website and share market intelligence that will help them build their businesses,” said NAHREP chair Tino Diaz in an e-mailed statement Monday. The Web site features video interviews and podcasts, as well as a blog and the social network feature. The new initiatives aim to address market trends and issues facing Hispanic homebuyers - who at the peak of the market received subprime financing at more than twice the rate of the overall market, Diaz tells HousingWire. "NAHREP brokers must continue to be local trusted advisors and need to educate themselves in local market nuances and become proficient is skill sets relevant to short sales, REO and other distressed transactions," Diaz says. One issue facing both homebuyers and sellers is the overhang of foreclosure inventory that may further drag down prices on top of historic levels of price depreciation that makes selling and refinancing difficult for many Hispanic homeowners, according to Diaz. Despite government initiatives to curb the rate of foreclosure, many homeowners face few alternatives. HousingWire recently spoke with Gary Acosta, chairman of New Vista Asset Management and co-founder of NAHREP, about the government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) and its lack of sufficient incentives to get distressed borrowers on board with short sales. "The short sales relocation benefit doesn’t stack up to the 'cash for keys' incentive and the savings afforded from living months in default and rent (mortgage) free," Acosta wrote in a recent viewpoint. "What else do these distressed homeowners have to lose?" Write to Diana Golobay.