The federal government has taken steps this year to restore fair housing, but what can be done locally? Here’s what this Wisconsin-based firm is doing to help prospective home buyers overcome obstacles to home ownership.
June has been declared National Home Ownership Month, and now “time to share stories and create opportunities for future homeowners… “However, in many parts of the country, houses seem to be flying off the shelves.” lack of inventory in many US markets. As a result, it may seem like we don’t need to defend home ownership – people understand that, right?
Sadly, the racial group with the lowest home ownership rates (nationwide) in the midst of a housing boom are blacks (but unfortunately Hispanics are not far behind in underrepresentation, which makes access to housing for Hispanics and opportunities a key part of that too discussion). NAR 2021 Snapshot of races and home purchases in America showed that from March to December 2020, the percentage of home purchases was:
- 82 percent white (60.1% of the US population in 2019 census, overrepresented by 36 percent).
- 9 percent Hispanics / Hispanics (18.5 percent of the US population at the 2019 Census, more than 50 percent underrepresented).
- 8 percent Asian / Pacific Islander (5.9 percent of the 2019 US population, 35 percent overrepresented).
- 5 percent Black (13.4 percent of the 2019 US population, more than 60 percent underrepresented).
This is not surprising due to government-sanctioned Redline, demolition of black property for highways, destruction of black communities through incendiary false accusations (for example, Tulsa’s Black Wall Street), gentrification (for example, in 2021. exclude revitalization formerly known as Tulsa’s Black Wall Street), well-documented unfair underestimation black (and Hispanic) property and predatory lending.
The best houses and gardens even warned, “Aspiring homeowners and POC investors should never assume that a loan offer will be in their favor,” and shared tidbits to overcome at least unconscious bias and, at worst, full-blown racism.
Most of this happened during the lifetime of ourselves or our parents, rather than a few centuries ago, so it’s understandable that aftershocks, a long-standing legacy of unfair home ownership, are still being felt.
However, there is also a sense of centuries-old frustration, which we recognize this month, June 19, the famous day when the last pre-war enslaved black people were freed more than 156 years ago.
If you really want to keep it in this millennium, just from 2000, Citi reported that $ 218 billion was lost in home sales without much black involvement – this affects the entire industry and shows that home ownership not a zero-sum game. Thus, we need a concerted effort to stop the bleeding and heal the wounds associated with unequal living conditions for the most disadvantaged.
At this point, you might be thinking, “I understand everything and I want to be part of the solution, but this problem is bigger than me and my team, right?” This year federal government has taken steps to re-establish fair housing, but what can be done locally?
Well, in Madison, Wisconsin, Alvarado Real Estate Group and One City Schools have teamed up to co-create OWN IT: Creating Black Wealth, a nontraditional (because there are no standard barriers or barriers to navigation) and a US $ 15,000 grant for home buyers.
This is a big problem for potential home buyers – especially our veterans using VA loans and other potential buyers using FHA loans – who may not have a down payment to compete in cash-only or conventional loan markets such as this example in Indiana… OWN IT is particularly encouraging and innovative, as Wisconsin is known to have one of the lowest homeownership rates for blacks – just 26 percent… Yeah.
OWN IT is inspiring proof that a level-playing field solution can start with a few decisive minds, starting with a single real estate firm. Perhaps your next. Watch today’s video to hear from:
- Marilyn Ruffin (VP of Family and Community Initiatives at One City Schools and co-author of OWN IT: Building Black Wealth).
- Sara Alvarado (writer, speaker, co-owner of Alvarado Real Estate Group and co-author of OWN IT: Building Black Wealth).
- Tiffany Malone (real estate consultant, affordable housing advocate and co-author of OWN IT: Building Black Wealth).
In addition to OWN IT, we discuss:
- How advance payment programs in their current state can often create barriers to home ownership.
- The importance of not waiting for our affiliates / associations to do this work or changing government policies, but to work in accordance with them.
- The need for a real estate licensee education to include a deeper immersion in the history of U.S. housing construction (with Richard Rothstein’s book, The color of the lawas an ideal basis for a curriculum (even if it is absolutely essential to work in our brokerage companies; KW started something similar, which will be discussed in the next article).
- Like there are people in our communities who want to be homeowners but have no idea how to OWN IT (look what I did there). Thus, there is a need to expand training for home buyers. from us the real estate pros.
As quiet as it is, we all – every professional of every racial group – could be part of the solution simply by offering more educational conversations for home buyers, especially in marginal areas where there are many tenants. (Greet those of us who are already doing this!)
By the way, NAR 2021 Snapshot of races and home purchases in America noted that high debt-to-income ratios and low credit ratings are the main reasons for loan refusals (all racial groups are struggling with one), highlighting the need for more education in these subjects for potential home buyers en masse, not just for Black and Latin.
I hope their journey will inspire each of us to continue promoting housing through opportunities and access, and perhaps even replicate a similar initiative in your area.
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