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BUILDING BLACK WEALTH

Programs Help Homeowners Secure the American Dream

5/17/2017, noon | Updated on 5/17/2017, noon
The National Urban League played a pivotal role in the 20th-Century Freedom Movement and grew out of the spontaneous grassroots ...
Cy Richardson Photo Courtesy of The National Urban League

BUILDING BLACK WEALTH Programs Help Homeowners Secure the American Dream

By Christopher Shuttlesworth

The National Urban League played a pivotal role in the 20th-Century Freedom Movement and grew out of the spontaneous grassroots movement for freedom and opportunity that came to be called the Black Migrations, according to iamempowered.com. In a time where black homeownership is “endangered,” according to the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the National Urban League is still helpingblacks build generational wealth through homeownership.

Cy Richardson, who is the National Urban League Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Programs, said the National Urban League has been a long-time provider of home-ownership preparation, home-ownership education and house counseling service for over 20 years.

“We are permanently committed to opening up first time home ownership for communities of color,” Richardson said.

“It is predominantly the way to build into generational wealth in American society.” Richardson explained that there has been some retrenchment and fall back for African Americans in home ownership. So, he said the National Urban League decided to double down on their commitment for social compact around the ability to own a home sustainably and responsibly, which results in the wealth of generational assets.

“Our acknowledgement of homeownership is a key accelerator and narrows the nation’s wealth gap, which is something we have to be more intentional in talking about,” Richardson said. He said one key piece of information that he would give to first time home owners is to introduce them to some of the myths of home ownership.

“The first piece of advice would be to introduce them to some of the myths that are out there today in terms of having to have 20 percent down, having to have foreseen credit and having to have a certain documentation structure,” Richardson said, “The reality is that there are a number of banks that are offering affordable products as little as to 3 percent down and you don’t have to have foreseen credit and forms of documentation.”

He continued to say that the National Urban League believes that the system of structure should maintain its openness for access to the community of color. “We want to prepare people responsibly, prepare people for products that suit them and be deliberative in terms of the timing that it takes to be a successful homeowner,” Richardson said. “Now is the time not to retrench, but to continue to [take advantage] of homeownership opportunities in the merging market by connecting with banks and other financial service companies that have products that are affordable and suitable to the constituents that we care about.”

According the thechicagourbanleague.org, The Chicago Urban League Housing Department is a HUD certified counseling agency as well as a City of Chicago Department of Housing Delegate Agency. It provides low-to-moderate income residents with professional housing counseling assistance through various programs and services.

The Chicago Urban League programs provide, mortgage default counseling, predatory lending counseling and first-time homebuyer’s counseling. Free workshops and individual counseling services are provided by Certified Housing Counselors through the following

programs:

  • First Time Home Buyers
  • Education
  • Foreclosure Counseling
  • Financial Literacy

The Chicago Urban League Housing Department continually searches for new opportunities in both development project related services and private partnerships for financial support, according to its website.

For more information, contact Margret Wooten, Senior Director of Housing at 773-285-1500 or mwooten@thechicagourbanleague.org. For more information about the National Urban League, visit http://nul.iamempowered.com