Black homeownership has plummeted since the Great Recession. Systemic racism, equity stripping, and a significant loss of affordable housing are just a few reasons for this declination in Black homeowners throughout the US. The National Housing Resource Center has joined with the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Fair Housing Alliance many other organizations working collaboratively through the Black Homeownership Collaborative to ensure that there are 3 million new Black homeowners by the year 2030. To do this, a 7-point plan has been devised that will address several key areas that have caused Black homeownership to continually plummet since the end of the Great Recession.
Over one hundred housing leaders that span the political spectrum in areas of housing advocacy and industry recommend seven “tangible, actionable, and scalable” steps that will aid in addressing the gap in housing disparities between Black and white homeowners. As this is just the beginning in bringing Black homeownership to “levels never previously attained”, they are assured that these steps will lead to new strategies as this plan unfolds. The National Housing Resource Center (NHRC), HomeFree-USA, and NeighborWorks America co-chaired the Downpayment Assistance and the Housing Counseling Workstreams. To read this plan in detail, click here.
Homeownership Counseling – Providing homeownership counseling helps to close the gap in many of these areas by getting much-needed information to would be Black homebuyers. The plan calls for sustained funding for housing counseling and strategies to get homebuyers and homeowners to housing counseling programs early in the process.
Downpayment Assistance – Discriminatory housing policies and growing racial wealth gaps play a major role in many Black and Brown families not having much needed resources to save for a downpayment to purchase their dream home. Creating a “substantial, sustainable, and targeted downpayment assistance program helps to strengthen wealth building capacities for millions and helps to grow the economy.” The Downpayment Toward Equity Act provides $20,000 and $25,000 downpayment assistance grants for first-time homebuyers and for first-generation buyers who have not been well served in the marketplace. Housing counseling is required for most recipients to help prepare them to buy and sustain their homes.
Housing Production – Due to the “value” or “appraisal” gap in the cost of new construction or property rehabs, lower cost affordable housing in lower cost neighborhoods may not have the property value to sustain the cost of building or rehabbing a house. Legislation with bipartisan support in Congress today can provide needed financing to close this gap.
Credit and Lending – “Achieving homeownership is not enough. Sustaining homeownership is the ultimate objective.” This plan will evaluate the credit of potential homebuyers to identify “those who are ready and those who are not ready yet and provide referrals to housing counselors who can turn a NO into a NOT YET.”
Civil and Consumer Rights – This plan brings attention to the “ongoing discrimination in perpetuating the homeownership gap” and states that the government must “utilize, protect and restore” this law to address discriminatory practices in housing.
Homeownership Sustainability – It is stated that Black homeowners spend less time as homeowners than their white counterparts. “Loss of a home impacts not only the family experiencing foreclosure” but impacts the dreams of homeownership for friends and family members. It is important that Black homeownership be sustained to help increase Black homeownership by 3 million. The plan includes ideas on providing house payments for distressed homeowners when there is an economic downturn or sudden unemployment, preventing unnecessary foreclosures, and allowing them to weather the storm.
Marketing and Outreach – In order to increase Black homeownership by 3 million households, a comprehensive plan must be devised to disseminate information surrounding credit, loan requirements, and other fundamental questions surrounding homeownership.
To read this plan in detail, please click here.