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'We are here to help you' | Sacramento housing leaders to incentivize Black families to buy homes

Black homeownership rate has seen a decline of about 5%, according to a study. Local housing leaders want to make it easier for Black families to buy a home.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Black homeownership rates across the country have dropped to levels that have not been seen since the 1960s when private race-based discrimination was legal, according to the Urban Institue. Housing leaders in Sacramento are working to change that.  

The biggest challenge many face in buying a new home is saving up enough money for the downpayment. The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency Home Community Homeownership Initiative is offering at least $22,000 for those who are eligible.

Zoritha Thompson, with Goree and Thompson Real Estate, says would-be buyers could use that $22,000 as a downpayment. 

"They use it for their closing costs," Thompson said. "They also can use it to buy the interest rate down, so that’s a tremendous help.” 

Thompson is already seeing people signing up for the program.

Since 2001, Black homeownership rates have seen the most dramatic drop of any racial or ethnic group, according to the Urban Institute. Ownership by Black families declined about 5% compared to a 1% decline for white families. 

This is why Tyrone Roderic Williams, with Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment, is trying to get the word out about the thousands of dollars up for grabs.  

“I hope that people who have never thought that homeownership was possible for them particularly people of color, find out that there is a pathway that leads to homeownership,"  Williams said. "We are here to help you.”   

There will be virtual workshops for those who want to learn how to buy a home.

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