Our organization was founded in 2005 by a group of local leaders working to build affordable homeownership solutions. That collaborative effort grew and morphed to take a variety of shapes and roles in the lead up to and response/aftermath of the foreclosure crisis. Implementing lessons from those losses to homeownership; which disproportionately affected communities in our core mission, and working to rebuild vital pathways to homeownership for underserved communities, is a natural focus for our organization and leadership. Today’s lending and homeownership industry is altogether different from the past, and today’s challenges require a fresh approach when implementing solutions. Tomorrow’s homebuyer is more and more a person of color, and the millennial generation will dominate the market for decades to come, both populations requiring new ways to engage and serve them as they become homeowners.
In a world with fantastic housing-focused national organizations, homeownership has been and continues to be a minority voice. The traditional “affordable housing” model, leadership, and attention continues to need focus on affordable rental housing and homelessness. Those worthy causes and the industry that supports them are important indeed and it’s easy to see what so many organizations and trade associations focus on them from a nonprofit mission based perspective. Homeownership, on the other hand, has been a minor area of focus, especially from a mission based nonprofit perspective, as the industry has and continues to be dominated by for-profit players. Only over the past decade have we seen the business model of serving low income, low dollar mortgage loans emerge as a major force in the depressed homeownership rate, and large populations have also emerged as underserved by the traditional models – leaving us with a great need to focus on solutions in homeownership. The Board of Directors of the Homeownership Council of America and our Advisory Board are all deeply passionate and knowledgeable about the delivery of homeownership services and products to underserved communities, building wealth through assets, and strengthening America through its people. We have heard from organizations across the country who agree that the time has come for an independent focused effort to bring attention to this cause, with needed work to generate resources and models that support homeownership for underserved communities.
We are taking a leadership role in building sustainable partnerships and delivery systems that provide vital pathways to homeownership for people of color, low income, and rural communities across America. We will help organize problem statements in homeownership for our country, provide data and guidance for our research partners, provide valuable insights from ground level implementation to policy experts, and work with nonprofits and investors to build credit delivery systems and products that bridge the gaps to homeownership.