Joint effort aims to help households of color in beginning their path to successful homeownership
On May 17, the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance launched a “Get Ready. Be Ready!” campaign to connect households of color with homebuyer education services and build awareness that homeownership is possible. The campaign is the first public initiative for the Alliance, a coalition of more than 30 homeownership industry leaders from the banking, real estate, non-profit and government sectors dedicated to increasing homeownership rates and addressing related barriers for people of color across the state. Minnesota has a well-documented homeownership gap that ranks among the largest in the country, with 76 percent of white Minnesotans owning their home compared to less than 23 percent of black Minnesotans. The “Get Ready. Be Ready!” campaign aims to inspire potential home buyers of color and connect them with resources and support to facilitate successful and sustainable homeownership. “There are more than 64,000 households of color who may have the income needed to become homeowners, but for a variety of reasons, think it isn’t possible,” said Kasey Kier, Assistant Commissioner at Minnesota Housing and Co-Chair of the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance. “We want people to know there are resources out there to help them become successful homeowners. We want to show them how to start their own personal journey to homeownership.” The work of the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance comes at a time when the market share of homes for first time homebuyers is small, and properties sell quickly. By helping people “Get Ready. Be Ready!” for homeownership, the hope is they will be better able to compete in the tight real estate market. “Buying your first home can be an intimidating process, and it can take a lot longer than many people expect. Sometimes it takes building or rebuilding credit. Other times, there are long waits for down payment assistance, or a long search to find the right, affordable home,” said Julie Gugin, Executive Director of the Minnesota Homeownership Center and Co-Chair of the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance. “So we’re encouraging families to ‘Get Ready. Be Ready!’ so they’ll have all their finances in order when they find their perfect home.” For more information on the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance or to find out how you can support or participate in the effort, contact Julie Gugin at the Minnesota Homeownership Center at [email protected]. The Alliance is online at HomeownershipOpportunityAlliance.org.