New initiative aims to increase minority homeownership in Columbus (Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority)

Date Published: 
July 28th, 2021

From Columbus Business First:

A new initiative designed to increase homeownership among minority communities in Columbus is launching next week.

The effort, dubbed Convergence Columbus, is being spearheaded by the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, and Ohio State’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Columbus-based nonprofit housing developer Homeport will provide financial education to homebuyers as part of the program, and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Agency is also working closely with the initiative.

“The goal is to create a set of messages that will help us reach the residents in the community, those who are ready to be homeowners but aren’t aware that they’re ready or those who want to get ready,” said Steve O’Connor, senior vice president for affordable housing initiatives at the Mortgage Banking Association.

According to the association’s findings, the homeownership rate for non-Hispanic white people in the U.S. is more than 70%. In 2016, the homeownership rate for Black people in the U.S. was 41.7%. Hispanic homeownership remains below 50% and is trending upwards.

Sonja Nelson, vice president for resident initiatives for the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, said the initiative is focusing on the disparities and racial inequities responsible for that disparity.

“It’s not just taking what was already out there and repackaging it, and introducing it to the community,” Nelson said. “It’s actually taking a look at some of our current practices, lending practices, really unraveling ‘How did we get here in the first place?’ and then seeing how we can fix what those issues were.”

Read Columbus Business First's article "New initiative aims to increase minority homeownership in Columbus," featuring the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority.

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