By Black Star Staff
WASHINGTON – The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) holds its initial Building Black Wealth Tour event in Houston on Saturday, October 7, kicking off activities in more than 60 cities nationwide. The events, which include festive activities for youths, will empower Black communities with steps towards homeownership, property investment, starting a business, and other wealth-building opportunities.
Working with the African American Mayors Association and the National Bar Association, NAREB will sponsor the events in cities nationwide over the next two years. Each event will include classes, workshops, and one-on-one counseling on homebuying, investing, credit, and careers in real estate. The tour will include Birmingham (11/11/23), Charlotte (3/2/24), Mt. Vernon (4/13/24), Little Rock 6/8/24), New Orleans (8/3/24), Atlanta (11/9/24), Miramar (3/25), Beverly Hills, MO (6/25) and Los Angeles (8/25).
“The time for action on Black Wealth is now,” exclaimed NAREB President Dr. Courtney Johnson Rose. “NAREB is urging our Black communities to take the journey towards wealth. Come to our events in your city and learn what you need to purchase a home. We are helping Black families overcome the biased public policies and private practices that created the vast wealth gap in America today.”
Dr. Rose noted that the Federal Reserve says, on average, Black families own about 24 cents for every $1 of White family wealth. Homeownership, a critical component of Black wealth, declined for Blacks every quarter since the pandemic, leaving Blacks with the lowest percentage of homeowners in America. Despite the contributions of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, 55 years later, the racial homeownership gap has widened. In 1960, 38% of Blacks owned homes, while White homeownership was 65%, a 27-point gap. Today, the gap is nearly 30%, the most extensive spread since 1890.
Yet, the NAREB State of Housing in Black America (SHIBA) report says there are more than two million mortgage-ready Black Americans. These families and individuals have the credit and income to qualify for a home mortgage. The NAREB Building Black Wealth Tour will go to communities nationwide, find these families and individuals, educate them, and inspire them to build wealth.
“Systematic racism has plagued our communities and impeded our ability to gain wealth,” Dr. Rose said. “but we can overcome these challenges by working together.”
NAREB hosted a Building Black Wealth Tour rally at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Caucus last month. “When talking about owning a home and fighting for Black homeownership, you’re not just owning a home. We’re owning a part of the future,” Van Jones, author and political commentator, said at the rally. “We need to own the future in this totality. We need to stabilize our communities, own our communities, bring proper education for the 21st century to our community so that our kids are not just downloading apps that somebody else made and moving their thumbs around on somebody else’s app.”
NAREB signed agreements with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity at the event to support the tour. “We’re excited to launch this new partnership, which furthers our Financial Fortitude initiative and elevates the work we do to empower our communities through economic development,” said Delta National President Elsie Cooke Holmes. Also speaking was Dr. Joseph Lonzer, General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Mayor Shawn Howard Patterson, President of the African American Mayors Association; Phyllis Dickerson, Chief Executive Officer of the African American Mayors Association; Dr. Meghan Venable-Thomas, Director of Birmingham Community Development; Bobby Henry, Board Chair, National Newspaper Publishers Association; and Dominque Calhoun, President of the National Bar Association.
“The Black community has lacked the resources of other communities, and our goal is to end disparities and help Black communities thrive,” Dr. Rose said. “The Building Black Wealth Tour will provide critical data, information, and advice to community members. We will ensure that community members know about homeownership opportunities, heirs and estate property, and real estate investing. And cutting-edge tools that can help them take the next step.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE BROKERS
NAREB was formed in 1947 to secure equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or color. NAREB has advocated for legislation and supported or instigated legal challenges that ensure fair housing, sustainable homeownership, and access to credit for Black Americans. Simultaneously, NAREB advocates for and promotes access to business opportunities for Black real estate professionals in each real estate discipline. From the past to the present, NAREB remains an association proud of its history, dedicated to its chosen struggle, and unrelenting in its pursuit of the REALTIST®’s mission/vision embedded goal, “Democracy in Housing.”