Community Wealth Building Day aims to boost Black homeownership

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A recent study by Harvard University reports the gap between African American and White homeowners in Chicago has grown to near historic levels since the real estate crash of the late 1990s, with 38 percent of African-Americans owning homes in Chicago versus 78 percent of Whites, as of 2015.

Barriers to homeownership exist in part because those who wish to purchase homes often lack the resources or expertise needed to start the process – and many are simply intimidated by that process. Dearborn Realtist Board – the oldest African American realtors association in Chicago – is working to help reduce this disparity by helping the community access the finance tools and expertise needed to expand homeownership.

Courtney Jones, president of the Dearborn Realtist Board, in partnership with MB Financial Bank and Freddie Mac is sponsoring a Housing Fair on “Community Wealth Building Day” Saturday, Oct. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Chicago State University Library (4th Floor Atrium), 9501 South Martin Luther King Dr., Chicago, IL. The free to public event will include workshops, free credit reports, and information to encourage the building of Black wealth through homeownership, as well as raffles and refreshments.

The sessions offered during Community Wealth Building Day are designed to connect potential homebuyers with experts on the ABCs of home buying, one-on-one credit and home mortgage counseling with HUD-approved counselors, and steps on acquiring down payment assistance and lending, among other tools. This includes help for those looking to become a first-time homebuyer, a second-time buyer (those who may have lost homes due to foreclosure), homebuyers looking to avoid foreclosure and others looking to expand the number of homeowners in the community.

The Dearborn Realtist Board is the oldest African American Real Estate Trade Association. Established in 1941, the area where African Americans resided was a community in Chicago called Dearborn, which stemmed from 22nd St on the north, south to 63rd St, east to the Lake and west to Wentworth St. This area is where our founding Presidents established their office and the name Dearborn Realtist Board was formed. The Dearborn Realtist mantra is “Democracy in Housing.” It is at the forefront of economic development in housing in the African American community. The National Association of Real Estate Brokers has a national initiative to put 2 million new homeowners in homes over the next 5 years. This initiative was started in 2016.

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