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Homeownership Equity Project

Creating Homebuying Opportunities for People of Color

The San Diego Homeownership Equity Project, launched in fall 2022, brings together 14 community organizations, the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and the San Diego City-County Reinvestment Task Force to expand homeownership opportunities for the region’s people of color. Homeownership rates for Black and Latino households are significantly lower than those for White households in the City of San Diego. This racial and ethnic homeownership gap has significant impacts on household wealth, savings and financial stability. Supported by a $7.5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation through 2025, the San Diego Homeownership Equity Project will implement strategies to increase homeownership preparation services and financial assistance products for homebuyers of color.

For consumers looking to access homebuyer help right now, the following organizations provide homeownership preparation services and assistance. This list will continue to be expanded and updated with additional services.

Homebuyer Resources

San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) – Down payment assistance programs
– First-time homebuyer classes and orientations
Logan Heights Community Development Corporation (LHCDC) – Credit counseling, debt reduction and credit score improvement programs
– First-time homebuyer classes and orientations
MAAC – Credit counseling, debt reduction and credit score improvement programs
Urban League – Credit counseling, debt reduction and credit score improvement programs
– First-time homebuyer classes and orientations
– Down payment assistance programs

San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative Members

 

The Challenge: Racial Homeownership Gap

According to an Urban Institute study that SDHC commissioned, homeownership rates among Black (29.1 percent) and Latino households (35.2 percent) are significantly lower than White (54.8 percent) and Asian (54.5 percent) households in the City of San Diego. Latino households represented 19.1 percent of all households in San Diego, but only 13.6 percent of all homeowner households. Black households accounted for 6.1 percent of all San Diego households, but only 3.6 percent of all homeowner households in the City of San Diego.

Nationwide, the Urban Institute estimates that without action, over the next 20 years, Black homeownership will continue to decline, and Hispanic homeownership will experience only slight increases. Gaps in homeownership rates contribute to differences in wealth among households. According to a Federal Reserve bulletin based on the Survey of Consumer Finances, the median net worth for a White family, which is $188,200, was approximately five times higher than for a Hispanic family, which is $36,100, and nearly eight times higher than for a Black family, which is $24,100. According to Urban Institute, home equity represents approximately 60% of total net worth for Black homeowners, compared with 43% for White homeowners. Homeownership provides households an asset that grows in value, can help pay educational expenses, may be used to help family members buy their own homes, or provides an inheritance for the next generation.

Wells Fargo Foundation’s WORTH Grant

Wells Fargo’s Wealth Opportunities Restored through Homeownership (WORTH) initiative is a $60 million national effort to address systemic barriers to homeownership for people of color. San Diego is one of eight markets across the U.S. to receive a WORTH grant. SDHC and RTF are among the organizations in the San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative, which will work to help create 5,000 new homeowners of color in San Diego County by the end of 2025.

Wells Fargo is working to increase racial equity in homeownership. Nationally, WORTH aims to help create 40,000 new homeowners of color by the end of 2025. Wells Fargo’s $40 million Growing Diverse Housing Developers program is also working to expand housing inventory in communities of color, among other initiatives. The company also recently launched a Special Purpose Credit Program to help eligible minority homeowners whose mortgages are serviced by Wells Fargo lower their interest rates and reduce their monthly mortgage payments.

 

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