Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce’s CEO and editor-in-chief, moderated a panel at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s Just Economy Conference in June. The panel, titled “Developing radical goals for Black homeownership and access to affordable housing,” addressed the question of what can be done to significantly advance Black homeownership and access to affordable housing.
On the panel were:
- Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, chief of Membership, Policy and Equity, NCRC
- Cornell Crews Jr., executive director of Community Reinvestment Alliance of Florida
- Andreanecia Morris, executive director of HousingNOLA
- Chantelle Wilkinson, national campaign manager of the National Low Income Housing Coalition
For the past year I have work with primarily Black families who have rented for years but want to become homeowners. This work has led me to sincerely believe that the disparity in homeownership cannot and will not be resolved without reparations. I have clients who can get approved for a home loan but the loan is 150k. This is mainly due to the fact that income of Black families, especially single parent families, is substantially lower than their white counterparts. The only home they could buy for this price in this area would be a run down fixer upper in an area no one else wants to live in. Since the United States government created and enforced laws that prevented Black families from buying homes where they wanted to live, I think the US government should be made to amend this wrong by offering Black Americans the ability to purchase a home at the same price and interest rate they would have 60 years ago with the balance purchase price of the home being subsidized by the government. This is equity. The government actively help create this problem therefore the government should actively work to resolve it. Down payment assistance programs are good. However, even when down payment assistance programs, families still are not able to locate a good home at a price they can afford. Not everyone wants to buy a home. Not everyone should. But for those who do, barriers to homeownership have to be resolved
Simple and to the point, having housing providers of subsidized units report the o time payments to credit bureaus. This is the only chance many very low and low income individuals and families have to improving their credit scores to than participate in other programs for example Habitat For Humanity.