Community

Fair Housing despite discrimination and other factors discussed during local presentations

Written by Tanya Terry

BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF THE READ TISS

The reason that Nareb was formed in 1947 is Black realtors were not recognized by the National Association of Realtors. So, they formed their own organization, petitioned the government and came up with their own name, with was the Real Tiss. The Real Tiss were Black realtors that started their own association.

“Locally, we came together and started meeting in August of 2021 and decided to form our own association as a chapter under Nareb, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, which is the Real Tiss,” said Frank Woods of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers & the Genesee County Association of Realtors.

National Association of Real Estate Brokers is the oldest real estate or oldest trade profession association in the United States. Their goal is to promote democracy in housing. They aim to be both advocates and educators of potential home sellers and home owners.

WHY THIS MATTERS

“One of the questions we like to answer is why homeownership in the Black community is important and so disproportionately lower than our white counterparts,” said Woods during the Neighborhood Resource Panel of the Flint Area CHRB Fair Housing Conference.

An article came out recently that was published by NAR, which talked about the gap that exists between African American and white Americans as it relates to home ownership. Some of the major obstacles identified were discrimination and racism. Rising interest rates, high costs and low inventory were the largest factors across the board.

Housing discrimination may affect the ability to rent or buy housing, get a mortage, or do other housing related activities based on race, religion, sex or other identifying factors.

“Some of you may have seen the news months ago where there seemed to be across the county a huge disparity in how homes for Black homeowners were appraised for a lower value than white homeowners.”

WHAT CAN BE DONE

Woods pointed out this can prevent racial minorities from obtaining generational wealth. He suggested in order to obtain home ownership racial minorities should focus on getting financial education. This type of education can be obtained through a first time buyer program.

“You need to put forth effort to reduce debt.”

Woods also suggested buying an investment property for passive income prioritizing savings and improving credit scores.

RESOURCES FOR HOMEOWNERS

Giovanni, an outreach specialist who is HUD certified at Metro Community Development, talked about grant programs available for home improvement. Some of these programs are at capacity for the year but are available each year.

The Neighborhood Impact Program offers $7,500 towards eligible home repair projects. Through the Amp Grant, up to $10,000 is available towards making homes more accessible for those with physical handicaps or disabilities. Homeowners must have lived and owned their home for at least six months prior to applying, as well as meet income eligibility.

Loans are also available through banks and other lending institutions, such as Heloc (Home Equity Line of Credit).

For more information about Metro Community Development, visit www.metrocommunitydevelopment.com, or call 810-767-4622.

Anyone who believes they may have lead in their homes can call 810-235-2004, or visit www.cityofFlint.com/LBPHC

Three full videos of Flint Area CHRB Fair Housing Conference are available here: Www.facebook.com/fachrb

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