New Efforts to Address Housing Disparities in Minority Communities

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Homeownership can lead to family and generational wealth. But that dream is harder to achieve for some than others -- and something James Armstrong with Builders of Hope knows all too well.

"Not only is there a great need for affordable housing for low and moderate-income families, but that needed has expanded to upper incomes," said Armstrong, the president and CEO of Builders of Hope.

Builders of Hope builds affordable housing and helps increase homeownership among minority families in Dallas.

According to the National Association of Realtors, homeownership for Black families is nearly 30% less than white for white families.

Mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced plans to help change that.

Fannie Mae is committing to give Black families housing preparation early for sustainable homeownership.

Fannie Mae will also enhance sustainable homeownership so that renters and homeowners can withstand disruptions or temporary hardships and remain stably housed.

Freddie Mac has a similar plan to expand access to mortgage funding, put stronger investments in formerly redlined areas, and more like making sure rent payment history can be a part of mortgage consideration.

"The fact that their rental payment has not been able to be used as mortgage payments is a disservice,” Armstrong said. “If someone can consistently pay rent, they can consistently pay a mortgage."

Armstrong says these changes will make a difference for some families and generations after them.

"We know that there's no way that we can completely undo what happened in the past that was really economic exclusion for black and brown people,” Armstrong said. “But what we can do is correct the issues so future generations will be able to know what homeownership feels like."

To learn more about Fannie Mae click here.

To learn more about Freddie Mac click here.

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