By Anthony O. Kellum – President of Kellum Mortgage, LLC
With a new administration in office there has been more chatter regarding home equity as it relates to minorities and ownership. With the array of issues, the Biden Administration is faced with, correcting the injustices and inequities is still a high priority. The housing policy is another facet in which social justice and income inequalities can be addressed.
If purchasing a home is on your radar for 2021, it’s still an obtainable goal since the time is now to revisit the gap between Black and White homeownership and what can be done to close it. This ongoing debate obviously still has challenges but there is restored hope for a brighter future.
In previous articles, it has been my goal to bring awareness and impose the importance of homeownership and how owning a home can build long-lasting generational wealth. This article aims to continue the trend.
With all of the strides made within the Black community, the disparities of homeownership within our community are still staggering. Closing the Black-white homeownership gap is an essential gauge of whether we are on course to be a fair, just society with equal access to everyone (Article: Urban Institute, Reducing the Racial Home Ownership Gap.)
As a quick re-visit to the most recent economic and housing downturn from 2008, the Black community was hit harder than other racial groups. At the peak of the bubble, Black homebuyers disproportionately bought homes at higher rates than their white and Asian counterparts.
In addition, they were also the victims of predators offering sub-prime loans (a loan offered above prime to people who do not qualify for a prime loan) even for people who actually qualified for prime loans. Also, Black homeowners were aggressively sought after for unsafe refinance products which eliminated their equity and fueled the home foreclosure crises the country experienced at large… (Article: Urban Institute, Reducing the Racial Home Ownership Gap.)
Fast forward to today and how we can stop the proverbial bleeding? Below are three ways to lessen the gap.
Outreach and Education: Lenders should continue to improve outreach programs, providing education on the down payment requirements and also explaining the misconceptions about the importance of down payments. Potential home buyers should seek out assistance programs ~ there are funds available that go unused because people are not aware of the programs available.
Loan Officer Diversity Inclusion: It sounds like a cliché but enhancing diversity within the lending industry. Borrowers should seek lenders with a diverse pool to choose from. Minorities are expected to be the majority by 2025 and the lending industry should reflect the changing demographic. This will also build trust and inclusivity.
Supply and Demand: Affordability and accessibility are at the forefront of creating a more equally yoked buying process. States should implement their own fair housing rules and regulations. Buyers should also do their own research to determine what programs are available and seek lenders who embrace the changing demographics.
Reforms are needed across the spectrum to ensure the millions of people who are creditworthy gain access to fair, stable, affordable, and safe homeownership opportunities.
“The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Interesting Article Links: