UnidosUS launches new initiative to create 4 million Latino homeowners by 2030
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UnidosUS, the nonpartisan Hispanic civil rights organization, recently launched a new initiative that seeks to influence systemic change, increasing Latino homeownership.
The initiative, HOME (Home Ownership Means Equity), 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 for the HOME initiative, as it is part of a larger $25 million philanthropic investment in Unidos US community-focused programs and nonprofit Affiliate partners to advance Latino homeownership nationwide.
Of the $25 million in grant funding, 40% ($10 million) will support the development of the HOME initiative, a matching investment from UnidosUS, and the kickstart of a robust $100 million fundraising effort to advance the program’s goals over the next seven years.
“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.,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía.
“To maximize this opportunity, we are launching the HOME initiative to help create four million new Latino homeowners by 2030,” she continued. “Our comprehensive strategy will help shape needed policy reforms while providing tools and resources Latinos need to successfully navigate the homebuying process.”
The UnidosUS HOME initiative will support homebuyer readiness, expand credit access, increase housing supply, and preserve homeownership. The initiative’s agenda has five key points:
- 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
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 will add to that history as a cross-sector partnership that will accelerate and expand the possibilities for Latino homeownership opportunities in the U.S.
“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.”
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 first cohort includes Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; Stockton, California; Orlando, Florida; and Houston, Texas — all cities with large Latino populations and tremendous housing opportunities for prospective Latino homebuyers and builders.
The initiative will continue to expand into other cities across the country through future cohorts.
“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,” said Murguía.