Down payment assistance & the homeownership gap

I just read up on a proposal for a downpayment assistance program that is supposed to help close the homeownership gap. I’ll give an update once the program is approved.

queen anne house
Queen Anne

Minnesota’s black homeownership rate peaked in the 1950s at almost 47% and is currently 25.3% as compared with whites who have a homeownership rate of 77%. The homeownership gap in Minnesota is among the highest in the country.

Over the years I have worked with a few buyers who were eligible for and who used downpayment assistance programs to buy a house. Almost all of those buyers were white and a few of them were not first-time homebuyers but they were people who had previously owned homes.

Downpayment assistance is a great resource for people who want to buy a house but who do not have the resources to make the downpayment which is why I have the link to downpayment resources in the right sidebar on this site.  I always ask first-time homebuyers if they have heard of the programs and I encourage them to explore their options and ask their lender for assistance.

There is proposed legislation in Minnesota for down payment assistance to help “first-generation” home buyers.

The intent is to narrow the racial homeownership gap in Minnesota.

A first-generation home buyer is defined as:

• A buyer who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years, and

• A buyer whose parent or legal guardian does not or did not at the time of their death own a home.

Real estate agents do not approve or disapprove home loans. Real estate agents do discourage home sellers from accepting certain types of financing because they believe it to be riskier. I strongly encourage homeowners to talk to familiarize themselves with various loan programs.

Recently the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors apologized for its role in housing discrimination. The National Association of Realtors also apologized. Realtors were complicit and helped enforce racial-based deed restrictions. We also helped segregate neighborhoods.

1924 COE
Realtor Code of ethics
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