Guest Blog by Allie Gaddis,
Strategy and Impact Manager, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
“We all do better when we all do better” is a phrase we heard over and over in 2020. The phrase grew in popularity during a 1999 speech given by late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone to the Sheet Metal Workers Union. And yet amid the phrase’s popularity there remains a false belief that our hard work solely determines our success in life.
COVID-19 and racial justice protests continue to break down this belief. Instead, 2020 showed us how interconnected and interdependent we are for safety, justice, and stability. This interdependence means everyone has a role to play to address injustices across the country. In Minnesota, those injustices run deep and include a worst-in-the-nation racial gap in homeownership.
To tackle that disparity, the nonprofit Minnesota Homeownership Center convened a group of housing organizations to form the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance.
The Alliance is made up of 150+ real estate professionals, lenders, non-profit agencies (including Twin Cities Habitat), and government organizations working to tackle housing disparities from every angle.
As a supporter of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, you help us make a bigger impact by joining others in the fight for housing justice. And if you work in the real estate industry, you can team up with the Alliance to help address racial equity issues in real estate.
A 400-year history of racist practices in property ownership (read our Race and Housing blogs for background) means one solution will not fix the wide gap in homeownership rates across races. Alliance industry experts have identified many opportunities to close the gap. With so much to accomplish, the Alliance is broken down into several smaller committees. A few of the top initiatives in 2021 are:
- Promoting a Get Ready, Be Ready campaign to connect people of color to homebuying opportunities that work for them.
- Advocating for more access to Down Payment Assistance and loan products that help communities of color buy affordable homes .
- Diversifying the real estate industry through trainings, certifications, and mentorship programs. If you’re a real estate agent or work in the real estate industry, join the Recruitment & Retention committee.
- Debunking industry myths, such as the perceived benefits of buyer love letters, and promoting Fair Housing practices among industry professionals.
Keep up with all the great work from the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance by following them on Facebook. You’ll find great resources about buying a home and information about upcoming events.
For additional information about the Alliance or how to join, please contact Bill Gray at the Minnesota Homeownership Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.