The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and NID Housing Counseling Agency (NID) entered into a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the NAACP board of directors meeting held Feb. 16, 2019 in New York City.
Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance programs, up-front cash, and improving credit scores are part of an Empowerment Plan to reduce the wealth gap.
The common theme of the presentations made during the MOU signing ceremony presented to the assembled NAACP directors by Derrick Johnson, President/ CEO, NAACP, Leon Russell, Board Chair, NAACP and Ray Carlisle, Sr., President/CEO NID was ‘economic development is a political issue; civic engagement is critical to the success of the NAACP/NID social entrepreneurial partnership and the families and communities they traditionally serve.’
The MOU is focused on the economic empowerment of African American families and communities; initially through access to knowledgeable fair and affordable home loan mortgage lending to foster the growth of quality homeownership opportunities for Black families. The African American and White wealth gap is presently the greatest in several decades; with 95 percent of Black wealth traditionally contained in the equity in their homes.
The US Census Bureau homeownership rate statistics by race in 2018 reports the Black homeownership rate at 42.9 percent for Hispanic 46.9 percent, Asian/ Pacific Islander 58.1 percent and White homeownership rate at 73.6 percent. All reported homeownership rate categories increased over the past five years except that of African Americans, which actually decreased.
The financial crisis had a disproportionate negative impact on Black homeownership and in the recovery period, Blacks continued to lose ground in their ability to build and/or rebuild wealth through homeownership.
Johnson thanked NID and told Carlisle that the NAACP “will continue to do what is necessary to resist attacks on our communities and see equal opportunity and social justice prevail. We are grateful that you have partnered with us. Only together can we truly link the various strands of our communities to influence change in the political climate of our nation.”
NAACP and NID, through their national offices, will coordinate with their selected local NAACP Units and NID Branch offices to hold specific housing education and counseling events designed to empower Black families and urban communities with knowledge and assistance in the home mortgage lending and home buying processes. They will also co-sponsor events at NAACP National and State Conventions.
Key components of the products and services participants will be educated on are local Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance programs and improving credit scores to address the main barriers to purchasing a home, up-front cash and excellent credit, as well as how to analyze and manage a home loan and purchase as an economic and social investment.
NAACP, founded in 1909, is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure that the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
NID, Oakland based and founded in 1986, is the largest African American HUD Approved National Intermediary Organization in the nation. The NID mission is to work with its clients and partners in building communities where socially and economically diverse families and populations can live and prosper in a quality, safe and healthy environment.