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No Significant Increase in Number of Black Homeowners, According to Report

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Dr. Courtney Johnson Rose, President of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. as the group's annual conference opens at Miles College. (Marika N. Johnson, For The Birmingham Times)

By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

The Birmingham Times

Black home ownership has not increased and there are more challenges ahead, according to a report on the State of Housing in Black America (SHIBA) released on Thursday.

That data was delivered during the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ (NAREB) annual conference held in Birmingham at Pearson Hall at Miles College in Fairfield. NAREB commissions the report and releases findings during its annual conference.

Blacks face three major challenges in terms of gaining home ownership, according to Jim Carr, author of the SHIBA report.

“The first is relatively low to medium wages and wealth. The second is housing market challenges such as interest rates and the availability of affordable housing. The third are institutional biases and weaknesses within the housing finance system,” he said.

Another disparity Carr noted in his study is that “whites have a median income of a little over $80,000 and Blacks have a median income of a little over $50,000.”

He also pointed out that in Black communities, statistics show the African American single females get approved for most home loans, followed by African American single males, and African American couples last. Whereas, in most white couples get approved for homes, followed by white males second and white females third.

And while the report showed numerous disparities, “the most beneficial part to me is watching the issues that NAREB has highlighted as major issues needing to be corrected actually being corrected,” he said.

Dr. Courtney Johnson Rose, President of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (Marika N. Johnson, For The Birmingham Times)

Dr. Courtney Johnson Rose, NAREB President, introduced Carr and called him an urban policy expert “with an extensive background in housing finance.” Carr is the Coleman A. Young Endowed Chair and Professor in Urban Affairs at Wayne State University and was once a Senior Vice President for the Fannie Mae Foundation where he built one of the nation’s most prestigious housing and urban policy research centers.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin extended greetings to NAREB visitors and noted “in a city that’s 70 percent Black (in population), we have work to do in building Black wealth.”

State Senator Merika Coleman (D-Pleasant Grove), representing Alabama’s District 19, pledged her support for the NAREB and shared with the audience how she too missed opportunities in building Black wealth in her younger years.

“My pastor (T.L. Lewis, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church) told me some 25 years ago to get you some real (pausing)… estate,” said Coleman. “He told me they aren’t making any more land.”

Although she didn’t act on his words at the time, Coleman said she eventually began investing in real estate about 10 years ago and is even considering future ventures with family members and encouraged attendees to do the same.

Information-packed sessions were hosted at the kickoff day of the conference which lasts through Saturday, November 11 with a Community Wealth Building Day at New Rising Star Baptist Church, The Star, located at 7400 London Ave. If you’re interested in attending, you can register here.

The agenda for the summit on Thursday included panel discussions on wealth building, bank financing for homeowners and a skit which highlighted property management for young adults.

The Building Black Wealth Tour (BBWT) is free and open to the public and will feature loan officers who will help potential homebuyers see if they quality for a home mortgage on the spot, among other activities. It is the second stop on the BBWT featuring more than 100 cities across the United States. The Birmingham Realtist Association is the local arm of NAREB.

For more information on NAREB, visit https://www.nareb.com.

For more information on the Birmingham Realtist Association, visit https://www.nareb.com/birmingham-realtist-association/.

For more information on the Building Black Wealth Summit, visit https://narebblackwealthtour.com.