Originally Published on Essence
The gap in racial inequity stretches across many different facets of everyday life in America, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked is homeownership.
44% of Black families own their home while 73.7% of white families own theirs, according to the U.S. Census for the first quarter of 2021, and the disparity can be even greater in certain cities. While Black families have been inching their way up in homeownership since the start of 2019, this progress has been threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic—which has disproportionately affected the physical and financial health of many African Americans.
Mind the Gap
To get the full picture of the racial wealth gap as it pertains to homeownership, we have to start with the disparities in household wealth between races. According to Urban.org, a 2018 research report revealed that the median Black household has less than 11% of the wealth of the median white household.
Home equity makes up a large part of most families’ wealth, so increasing minority homeownership is a key factor in decreasing and ultimately closing the wealth gap. Many obstacles have stood in the way of Black Americans purchasing property, like the lingering impact of redlining. This practice, which is now outlawed, previously prevented Black homebuyers from getting mortgages and even restricted home sales to certain neighborhoods where property values lagged due to bias. And according to USAToday.com, more recently, Black people were disproportionately targeted for the predatory loans that contributed to the housing crash and deep recession that struck in 2008.
A Company for Change
Now that you can see how this wealth gap has formed and widened, let’s look at what homeownership really means. While a house can be passed onto the next generation as inheritance, the benefits of owning a home can be felt soon after closing. You can tap into the property equity to fund a child’s college education, start a business, or even help a child or grandchild with the down payment of their own home. So, knowing that the benefits begin way before resale, finding a company that is willing to work with you to make your dreams come true is essential.
While traditional banks don’t believe all Americans deserve their best technology, programs or loans, ChangeFi does. ChangeFi is bringing digital-first banking, lending and financial services to Black, Latino and additional underbanked communities to help disentangle the racial homeownership gap.
“I am excited to bring real change and financial inclusion to underserved individuals, in communities like my hometown of Atlanta and new home of Los Angeles. Throughout my life, I have been blessed with opportunities to create foundational impact through my work,” says B.C. Silver, President, Digital Banking and the Chief Executive Officer of Change Finance. “Our approach of expanding banking and lending to Black, Latino and lower income Americans will disrupt legacy banks and neo banks, and help bring greater racial equity to homeownership in America. We’re on a mission to lend over $2 billion in 2021 to expand Black and Latino homeownership.”
Accessing the American Dream
If you’re ready to take the first steps toward homeownership, Change Lending might be just what you’re looking for. Through a variety of traditional and nontraditional mortgage products, they empower borrowers, like you and me, to invest in our homes, our communities, and our future.
ChangeFi and Change Lending are powered by The Change Company, a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) who has helped over 100,000 families by financing over $25 Billion in loans. Click here to explore your options with ChangeFi.
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