The Black Homeownership Collaborative, a coalition of more than 100 organizations and individuals, brought together national and local housing advocates, elected officials and local leaders at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., on May 31 to recognize the two-year anniversary of its 3by30 initiative and to discuss strategies to increase Black homeownership across the country. The Black Homeownership Collaborative is committed to creating 3 million net new Black homeowners by the end of 2030.
NHC President and CEO David Dworkin demonstrated a revolutionary new mortgage calculator which has been released on www.3by30.org that provides detailed, easily navigated options for determining mortgage affordability based on actual borrower savings and closing cost estimates. The website, which Dworkin said is meant to be a “virtual trusted advisor for the Black consumer thinking about getting a mortgage” continues to offer tools for consumers seeking information about homeownership and the home-buying process, including a downpayment resource locator, and direct links to real estate professionals from markets across the United States.
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson kicked off the event with Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Enterprises, with a fireside chat where they discussed the wealth gap, purchasing power and other challenges facing prospective Black homebuyers. “The homeownership gap today is wider than in the 60s when discrimination was legal,” said Director Thompson as she discussed steps FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are taking to address this gap including the Enterprises’ equitable housing finance plans which were developed to address barriers experienced by renters, aspiring homeowners, and current homeowners – particularly in Black and Latino communities. “We must do everything we can to help people understand how important credit is – more important than a downpayment. Homeownership is not out of the realm of possibility – it is possible, it is doable, and we must do everything in our power to be helpful and not harmful in that process.”
Bryan Greene, co-chair of the Black Homeownership Collaborative and Vice President of Policy Advocacy at the National Association of REALTORS®, concurred with Director Thompson’s remarks stating, “There is a connection between racial inequality and wealth inequality. Homeowners have 40 times the wealth of renters, which should concern us as we work to close the 30 percentage-point gap in homeownership rates between Black and White Americans.”
“As a member of the Black Homeownership Collaborative, we are developing tools and resources to break down the barriers that Black Americans face on the path to homeownership,” Cy Richardson, co-chair of the Black Homeownership Collaborative and Senior Vice President for Programs at the National Urban League. “Black homeownership is not just about owning a house; it is about reclaiming power, rewriting narratives, and building a foundation of economic empowerment. It is a catalyst for intergenerational wealth, community resilience, and the transformation of dreams into reality.”
During panel discussions with leading housing policy and finance experts and Collaborative members, attendees learned about federal initiatives to advance Black homeownership and local housing initiatives currently underway in Memphis. The Addressing Barriers to Housing Equity panel reviewed federal initiatives to help increase Black homeownership including Special Purpose Credit Programs, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency”s Project REACh initiative, the Biden Administration’s Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Equitable Housing Plans, and the role of Black Realtors® in the homebuying process. Moderated by Ralph Perrey, Executive Director of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, panelists included Gabe Del Rio, President & CEO of the Homeownership Council of America; Barry Wides, Deputy Comptroller, Community Affairs of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Chrissi Johnson, Founder & CEO of Alinement Advisors; Pam Perry, Vice President, Single-Family Equitable Housing at Freddie Mac; Tamara Newman, Portfolio Management Advisor, Racial Equity Strategy & Impact at Fannie Mae; and Rasheeda Jones, National Treasurer at the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.
The second panel focused on Memphis housing initiatives and provided an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities the city faces to increase efforts to provide homeownership for Black families. Moderated by Doreen Graves, Executive Director of CONVERGENCE Memphis, panelists included Amy Schaftlein, Executive Director of United Housing; Laurie Benner, Associate Vice President of Housing and Community Development at the National Fair Housing Alliance; Roshun Austin, President & CEO of The Works, Inc.; and Keith Turbett, Community Development Manager at First Horizon Bank. During the discussion, attendee Nicholas Whiteside gave impassioned remarks about his journey to becoming a homeowner. For those who could not join us in Memphis, click here to watch the event recording.
Since the inception of the Black Homeownership Collaborative, the Black homeownership rate has increased from 44% when it launched in 2021 to 46.5% today. The Black Homeownership Collaborative is led by a steering committee of executives from the Mortgage Bankers Association, NAACP, National Association of REALTORS®, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Housing Conference, and the National Urban League, with research by the Urban Institute. To learn more, visit www.3by30.org.