War Has Been Declared On the Declining Black Homeownership Rate In America
As of 2nd quarter 2019, the Black homeownership rate stands at 40.6%…the lowest number in more than 50 years. In comparison, the homeownership rate for Non-Hispanic Whites, reported by the U.S. Census Bureau at 73.1%,represents more than a 30-percentage point difference and reflects the economic mountain Black Americans have to climb to gain parity in achieving the American Dream. This staggering stat is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for N.A.R.E.B.’s newly elected President Donnell Williams, thus fueling him to issue a “cease and desist” order and to declare war on the decline of Black homeownership in this country.
N.A.R.E.B. (The National Association of Real Estate Brokers), the oldest minority professional trade association in the nation, is a champion in fighting for its mission of Democracy in Housing and is no stranger to the fact that decades of discriminatory lending practices and government policies have created barriers for Blacks seeking to become homeowners despite the passing of the Fair Housing Act over fifty years ago. President Donnell Williams has fully embraced his role as The Commander in Chief of Black Homeownership and has assembled his army of elected officials, social and civic influencers, and thought leaders from across this country for a what he is looking forward to being a fruitful, purpose-directed, and collegial dialogue called The N.A.R.E.B. National Collaborative Conversation on Black Homeownership.
The Conversation’s roster of expert conversationalists include President Williams as the conversation leader, Michele Calloway, Board Chair, N.A.R.E.B., Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University, Ben Chavis, President & CEO, National Newspaper Publishers’ Association, Kim Saunders, President & CEO, National Bankers Association (NBA), Lisa Rice, President & CEO, National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Lisa Mensah, President & CEO, Opportunity Finance Network, Joseph W. Walker, Presiding Bishop, Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Intl, Robert E. Finn, Director of Policy and Research, Center for Community Progress, Mark Whitlock, D. Min., Senior Pastor, Reid Temple African American Methodist Church, James Winston, President, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, James L. Davis, Presiding Bishop, 2nd Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Tristen Breaux, Director of Policy, National Housing Conference, and Charles Steele, Jr., President & CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). President Williams, who will be steering The Conversation, will introduce a list of programs and initiatives that he curated after assuming his new role that is called “The N.A.R.E.B. 8”. The N.A.R.E.B. 8 expands the reach of 2MN5, 2 Million New Black Homeowners in 5 Years, launched in 2015, by attacking the dismal and disturbingly low homeownership rate for Blacks in a deliberate, strategic, comprehensive manner. Some of programs of The N.A.R.E.B. 8 include:
- House Then The Car – A campaign targeted to the 1.7 million American millennials and generation x populations who make over $100k per year and who are home buyer ready but are currently renting.
- Realtist Opportunities For Seasoned Individuals (ROSI) – An initiative that addresses the wholistic needs (buying/selling real estate, life insurance, retirement, health insurance, etc.) of people over 40 years of age, or parents of any age.
- Civic Engagement – Program that identifies and cultivates a host of “Allies” that expand beyond established networks of partners and faith-based communities. These “Allies” would include Black Chambers of Commerce, Greek organizations, minority professional organizations and more.
The Conversation was put together because N.A.R.E.B. leaders know and realize that one organization alone cannot, and should not shoulder the burden and carry the message to Black America and to our nation’s policymakers on this critical issue that has many trickle down and domino effects on our Black communities. Everyone who will be seated at the table of The Conversation believes that Black Americans deserve their involvement, focus, and the utilization of their diverse platforms to develop ideas and strategies that will move the needle on Black homeownership in a positive direction.
The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) was formed in 1947 out of a need to secure the right to equal housing opportunities, regardless of race, creed, or color. Since its inception, NAREB has initiated and promoted meaningful challenges and supported legislative initiatives to ensure fair housing for all Americans. www.nareb.com.