Millennial Pastor Presents: “Your Pathway to Home Ownership”

Marie Sturgell and President Ray Carlisle of NID Housing Counseling Agency at the Feb. 3 workshop at Williams Chapel Baptist Church. Photo by Sue Taylor.
On Saturday, February 3, over 200 people attended a remarkable gathering hosted by Williams Chapel Baptist Church in Oakland, entitled “State of Housing in Black America, Faith, Family, and Finances:  Your Pathway to Home Ownership”.
Millennial pastor The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Anderson once again brought together community leaders, public agencies, elected officials, Citi Bank, real estate professionals, and people who would like to own property but may be shut out of the typical mortgage process.
This is not the first workshop organized by Dr. Anderson. Last year he held a gathering for faith-based organizations wanting to develop affordable housing. His own church has a project in the works.
Williams Chapel is the only application for faith-based senior affordable housing for Oakland city Measure KK and Alameda County Measure A1 funding. The project will build 88-units of housing on existing church property.
“We will eventually own the entire project,” said Dr. Anderson. “Faith, Family, and Finances are the three key elements to housing for African-Americans in our city. We need to own property to hold onto our homes.”
The event was held from 10 am to 2 pm, with lunch served mid-day. Attendees could come and go as their schedules permitted.
Mayor Schaaf spent the morning at the workshop. She apologized for her attire – blue jeans casual – saying she was between community clean-up events around town. She has a new advisor on housing and homelessness, Tanalia Hall, also attending. Ms. Hall is
Founder and CEO of The Animal and Community Resource Network, a non-profit group.
Faithful and hard-working Michelle Byrd, Director of Housing for the City of Oakland, gave greetings to dignitaries attending. Armand Carr, “The Voice” of The Quiet Storm was master of ceremonies. Duane Webb, a Sr. VP at Citibank, gave greetings from co-sponsors, and Dolores Johnson gave the opening prayer and led the gathering in singing the Negro National Anthem.
Citibank not only co-sponsored the event, but Sr. VP Duane Webb, Community Lending and Manager of Strategic Markets-Mortgages, manned a table at the entryway to the fellowship hall. He said he’s been in the mortgage business for 25 years, and his territory of California, Nevada, and recently-added Chicago, needs events such as this.
Ray Carlisle, of NID Housing Counseling Agency gave opening remarks, titled “Setting the Stage. Bridging the Gap. And Rolanda Wilson, also with NID, presented key information on “The Power of Credit.” She announced that NID gives ongoing free workshops. Qualifying for a loan, saving for a down payment, and understanding the mortgage process is complicated, but help is available.
Other topics covered were:  Marie Sturgell, Should I Buy or Rent?; Citibank’s Sterling McNeal, The Mortgage Loan Process; Imani Breaux, The Home Buying Process; and Erich Harris, Home Buying Benefits for Veterans.
A Greenlining Institute and Urban Strategies Council study published in early 2016, showed that Oakland banks issued far fewer mortgage loans to Blacks and Latinos. There were fewer applications and lower approval rates.
This workshop and others like it are meant to reverse that trend. Dr. Anderson is determined to make positive changes in housing and believes sharing information is a key strategy.
For more information on free workshops, go to, or call 510-268-9792.


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