Launch of a pilot program by the San Diego Housing Commission for BIPOC first-time homebuyers

The president of the Urban League claims that even with an 800 credit score, a request can still be rejected.

SAN DIEGO — Despite the fact that more Americans now own homes than a decade ago, the number of Black and Hispanic homeowners in California has fallen. To assist prospective homeowners, the San Diego Housing Commission created the First Time Home Buyer Pilot Program for Black and indigenous persons of color.

According to The California Association of Realtors, among California’s ethnic groups, Black and Latino homeownership rates are the lowest. At its peak in 2004, the percentage of Black homeowners was over 50%, while the percentage of Latino homeowners was around 56%. Following all other racial and ethnic groups, rates for both groups have dramatically decreased since that time.

The Urban League of San Diego’s president and CEO is Al Abdallah. We must address these systemic racial concerns in this nation, according to Abdallah.

Although every family has members of all races, as San Diego’s housing market values climb, the ideal of home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach.

“I think the median price of a home exceeds $800,000, which is one of the highest prices in the nation, rising interest rates, a lack of inventory, all these convergent factors make it almost impossible for the average family to own a home,” the author claims.

The data does not lie; this is not anecdotal; it is empirical data. For Black and Hispanic families, however, Abdallah claims that “you could have an 800 credit score and still be denied. This would not be an issue if we could have a society in which everybody had equity, but that has not been the case here.”

The California Association of Realtors claims that as interest rates rise and home prices reach historic highs, housing affordability for all Californians deteriorates.

  • A fifth of Californians had incomes sufficient to buy a $800,000 home.
  • One-fourth of white Californians, per ethnic group, can buy a home at this price.
  • A median-priced home is within the means of 31% of Asians.
  • Black and Latino households could only afford one in ten of the same-priced homes.

According to Abdallah, the lack of home ownership has a long-lasting impact on families and communities. “You could do everything right, but how will you save money for a down payment assistance if you’re paying $3,000 or $4,000 per month for rent? You fall further and further behind regarding generational wealth because, as you know, homeownership is the easiest way to build generational wealth.”

Sesch Booker sought assistance from the Urban League and acquired his first house as a result.

“The hard part was just those initial costs to get my foot in the door in California,” he claimed. “I filled out the intake form that they supplied me. From there, it was just extremely easy. Once the chosen banks have approved you and your pre-approvals have begun, you can now perform the enjoyable part, which is shopping.

The First Time Home Buyer Program offered by The Urban League, according to Sesch, helped make the seemingly impossible achievable. “I was able to secure a $40,000 grant from the Urban League, and then first citizen bank partnered with them and gave an additional $30k. That went towards closing costs, mortgage rate went down, and things of that nature. So, it was awesome. The money that I had been saving for a down payment, because I was given that, I could put that towards the remodel renovation.”

Despite growing homeownership rates for potential Hispanic homeowners, Latinos are still less likely to purchase a home, according to Lupe Flores of The Chicano Federation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected these villages, and they are still recuperating. They also worked in the service sectors, which were again the hardest hit, even though the state of emergency had ended. Our communities may not be able to compete as fiercely as wealthy households. Many people have moved to less populous nearby counties or even neighboring states, as we have seen.

The San Diego Housing Commission’s Vice President of Single-Family Housing Finance is Sujata Raman.

The San Diego Housing Commission’s mission is to make homeownership attainable for every Californian regardless of race, says Raman. “At the moment, we have plenty of funds. We have a very robust first-time homebuyer program, where we offer a down payment loan for 22% of the purchase price of a home. In addition, we have a very robust housing affordability program,” Raman told CBS 8.

The San Diego Housing Commission has a brand-new initiative that is especially designed for homes of color. With higher income requirements of $175,200 for a family of four in San Diego, it seeks to close the gap for families with middle-class incomes.

The new BIPOC-specific strategy, according to city council president-elect Monica Montgomery Steppe, will help.

According to Montgomery-Steppe, “We have to do the best that we can to ensure that our families have that type of down payment assistance that a family needs because they may be making good money to pay a mortgage, but they may not be able to save the larger amounts that are needed when it comes to down payment to buy a home.”

Programs are available from the San Diego Urban League and the San Diego Housing Commission to help close the homeownership gap. Working with families who require housing aid is the Chicano Federation.

Lupe claims that although the procedure seems daunting, it is worth taking the chance to try. “If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. If you don’t apply, the answer is “no.”

Black, indigenous, and people of color households are eligible for the new BIPOC pilot program from the San Diego Housing Commission. The program provides you with a $20,000 grant and a $20,000 loan for a down payment. For nearly seven years, there are no needed monthly payments on the postponed loan. The principle and interest are merged into a single monthly payment over the following 96 months after eight years. As long as your income is up to 150% of the median income in the San Diego region, you are qualified. That presently translates to $175,200 annually for a household of four. The top price for a property is $1,25,000,000.

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