Homeownership for Latinos:
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — UnidosUS, a nonprofit, nonpartisan Hispanic civil rights organization, has launched HOME (Home Ownership Means Equity), a new initiative that seeks to influence systemic change and catalyze the creation of four million new Latino homeowners by 2030. HOME will address multifaceted challenges Latinos face in trying to buy a home by expanding market opportunities and providing potential homeowners with the resources they need to navigate the home-buying process.
Wells Fargo is the first anchor funder of the HOME initiative as part of a larger, $25 million philanthropic investment in UnidosUS community-focused programs and nonprofit Affiliate partners to advance Latino homeownership. Of the $25 million in grant funding, $10 million will support the development of the HOME initiative, matching a $10 million investment from UnidosUS and kick-starting a robust $100 million fundraising effort to best undergird the program’s goals over the next seven years.
UnidosUS has long been committed to helping mortgage-ready Latinos and aspiring homeowners create pathways to build their credit, afford a down payment, overcome language barriers, avoid predatory lending and get approved for a sustainable mortgage. The HOME initiative is a cross-sector partnership that will accelerate and expand the possibilities for Latino homeownership opportunities in the U.S.
“Homeownership has long provided the most effective pathway for families to build generational wealth in America. While Latinos continue to face barriers in becoming homeowners, they also have the greatest opportunity for homeownership growth in the U.S. To maximize this opportunity, we are launching the HOME initiative to help create four million new Latino homeowners by 2030,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS. “Our comprehensive strategy will help shape needed policy reforms while providing tools and resources Latinos need to successfully navigate the homebuying process. Bolstering Latino homeownership isn’t just smart policy; it will pay economic dividends to neighborhoods, communities and our country.”
“We need to make homeownership more accessible, especially in historically marginalized communities,” said Kristy Fercho, head of Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion at Wells Fargo. “We will continue to expand our programs to reach more customers in underserved communities by leveraging our strong partnerships with UnidosUS and other non-profit organizations to break down the systemic barriers that make homeownership more difficult to attain and help make the dream of homeownership accessible to all Americans.”
“Latino households are poised to drive most net new homeownership in the United States through at least 2040. As the research partner for HOME, we are excited to bring data and analysis to help UnidosUS craft an evidence-based strategy to unlock this potential,” said Janneke Ratcliffe, Vice President of Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center. “We will support the development of evidence-based practices, track progress in meaningful ways and work to bridge knowledge gaps to move toward a more equitable state of homeownership in America.”
The UnidosUS HOME initiative will support homebuyer readiness, expand credit access, increase housing supply and preserve homeownership. Specifically, the UnidosUS HOME agenda will:
- Create access to credit by modernizing lending rules, supporting ITIN holders and self-employed borrowers, diversifying language access and enhancing credit access for innovative housing solutions
- Increase housing supply by supporting increased density through zoning reforms, leveraging federal tax policy to boost supply for first-time homebuyers and supporting construction labor force
- Preserve homeownership by leveraging interagency appraisal task force, enhancing accessibility of home renovation loans and supporting policies facilitating inter-generational wealth transfer
- Activate select UnidosUS’s community-based Affiliate organizations to provide consumer education and housing counseling that help prospective Latino homeowners make informed decisions in their homebuying journey
- Bolster the representation of Latino leadership, among other mechanisms, to empower leaders with lived experiences in the housing industry
To power various elements of the HOME initiative, UnidosUS will launch the first cohort of cities slated to receive targeted investments through the HOMEownership Solutions Network. The HOME initiative’s first cohort includes Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; Stockton, California; Orlando, Florida; and Houston, Texas, communities with large Latino populations and tremendous housing opportunities for prospective Latino homebuyers and builders. The initiative will continue to expand into other states across the country through future cohorts.
The HOMEownership Solutions Network will support versatile approaches to sub grant investments, local data analytics, communications, policy reform and serve more families by investing in the Wealth and Housing Alliance, UnidosUS Counseling Connecting, and Financial Empowerment Network; and train more housing counselors and financial coaches through the UnidosUS Learning Alliance. Additionally, the network will create innovative market opportunity pilots around topics like mortgages for ITIN holders and estate planning.
UnidosUS has more than 25 years of experience building solutions that advocate for and enable access to affordable homeownership and economic mobility for Latinos. The organization operates one of the largest HUD-certified housing counseling networks with nearly 50 housing counseling agencies in 27 states and a nationwide call center. Undergirding those efforts is the Raza Development Fund, the largest Latino-serving Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the country. Through the Raza Development Fund, UnidosUS has supported Affiliate organizations serving Latino families in 38 states with technical assistance and financing for major housing development projects. Building on this track record, UnidosUS will leverage its network of nearly 300 community-based Affiliate organizations that directly serve the Latino population across the country to strengthen its commitment to open doors for more Latinos to participate in our economy and transform their financial well-being.
As the largest bank lender to Black and Hispanic families for the last decade, Wells Fargo remains deeply committed to advancing racial equity in homeownership. We are encouraged by the impact of our recent efforts and are committed to maintaining and sharpening our strategic focus on serving minority customers. Real-world results observed to date demonstrate that the steps taken by lenders like Wells Fargo to enhance service delivered to minorities can make a difference. Even amid such results, it will take time and consistent effort to have a meaningful impact. While individual actions are foundational, the causes of disparities in homeownership are systemic, and so the path to lasting progress depends on collaboration across the industry. Wells Fargo looks forward to continuing to play a leading role in the crucial, industry-wide effort to advance racial equity in homeownership.
For more information about the HOME initiative, please visit https://unidosus.org/homeownership.
UnidosUS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves as the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Since 1968, we have challenged the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos through our unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico. We believe in an America where economic, political, and social progress is a reality for all Latinos, and we collaborate across communities to achieve it. For more information on the UnidosUS HOME initiative, visit https://unidosus.org/homeownership.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is a leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 41 on Fortune’s 2022 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy.
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