According to U.S. Census data, a significant homeownership gap exists between Black and white households nationally and especially in Southern Nevada. To help close the Black homeownership gap in the Las Vegas Valley and assist thousands of families to get on a path to homeownership, Homie, a tech-based real estate company convened a diverse group of community leaders and organizations who today announced the creation of the Coalition to Make Homes Possible.
Homie is sponsoring the coalition whose founding members include the Urban Chamber of Commerce, Nevada Housing Division, city of Las Vegas, Nevada Partners, National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), NID Housing Counseling Agency of Southern Nevada, and AmeriFirst Financial.
In Southern Nevada, only 35 percent of Blacks are homeowners, compared to a supermajority for white households. The collective mission of the Coalition’s founding partners is to close this Black homeownership gap by empowering up to 25,000 families with the resources to achieve homeownership over the next ten years, including down-payment assistance, financial coaching, credit repair, housing counseling, and real estate services.
Announcing the coalition today on the steps of the Las Vegas City Hall, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman was joined by President of the Urban Chamber of Commerce Ken Evans, Ender Anders of Nevada Partners, Las Vegas professional football player Nelson Agholor, Vice President of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) Shanta Patton, and Elias Benjelloun, head of Homie Helps Las Vegas, Homie’s community service initiative.
“The city of Las Vegas is proud to support this initiative that will help to close the black homeownership gap in our community,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “We applaud the many organizations involved with this effort that have come together to develop an actionable plan to give this issue more than just lip service. We stand with the Coalition to make homeownership a reality for everyone in Las Vegas.”
“For hundreds of thousands of Las Vegas residents, homeownership is at the heart of the American Dream. Yet, white families are twice as likely to own their home as Black families,” said Ken Evans, President of the Urban Chamber of Commerce. “The Black homeownership gap is worse today than it was over 50 years ago during segregation. We must act now and with conviction to address it.”
“Most people think that the NFL is the surest way to build wealth, but it’s obviously a very narrow path for only a few. Homeownership, on the other hand, is the surest way to build wealth and promote family security for everyone,” said the Las Vegas professional football player Nelson Agholor. “My parents didn’t think it was even possible to buy a home, and the instability as a child made football very challenging. That is why everyone should know there is help and funding out there to help families, particularly Black families, buy a home.”
Homie, a tech-based disruptor to the residential real estate industry that leverages technology, eliminates high fees and commissions, and ensures quality customer service, is sponsoring this coalition through its Homie Helps community initiative. Homie Helps will support the coalition’s first year of community awareness and outreach efforts, including staff, events, and advertising. Homie is also offering first-time home buyers up to $2,500 back at the closing of their home purchase.
“Homie was founded with the mission to make homeownership easy, affordable and accessible to all,” said Elias Benjelloun, head of Homie Helps Las Vegas. “That is why we are honored and grateful to help create this much-needed community partnership.”
“Closing the Black homeownership gap in Las Vegas starts with educating Black families on the home-buying process,” added Kenadie Cobbin-Richardson, Executive Director of Nevada Partners. “This ambitious goal can only be achieved by working together, and the Coalition to Make Homes Possible is doing just that by leveraging our available resources and networks.”
The Coalition plans to hold regular educational events, virtually and in person, as appropriate. The first Coalition event will be an online “Master Class on Building Black Wealth with Homeownership” on Saturday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m. to noon, during which participants will learn the ABCs of homeownership and how to access up to $25,000 in down-payment assistance funding, housing counseling, and other resources to create a personalized plan to buy a home. Residents can register for the webinar and learn more about the Coalition at MakeHomesPossible.org.