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In 2020, the Trust’s Protecting & Advancing Equitable Homeownership grant initiative brought together nine local housing organizations to identify key barriers and potential solutions for equitable homeownership. The Trust participated in the cohort as well, to inform its homeownership strategy – a top priority of Growing Household Wealth – going forward.

With the benefit of insights and input from local funders, housing experts, and data researchers, the cohort explored Urban Institute’s Five-Point Framework for reducing the  racial and ethnic homeownership gap. Among the barriers the cohort identified are:

  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution for Chicago’s diverse housing market
  • Housing development depends on a complex interdependent ecosystem that includes developers, lenders, government, and community-based organizations
  • Chicago has ample housing stock to preserve and encourage homeownership in communities of color
  • Commercial disinvestment in communities of color has devalued homes
  • Structural systems such as undervalued appraisals impede the ability of homeowners of color to build wealth

As a result of these learnings, this year’s grant-making strategy is focused on four key objectives:

  • Increasing access to safe and affordable financing for homebuyers
  • Protecting and increase homeowners of color
  • Supporting community-equity ownership models
  • Addressing complex structural issues

According to Shandra Richardson, who leads the Trust’s homeownership work, “The Growing Household Wealth team has begun to strategically partner with the Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment and Advocating for Policy Change teams to think about the intersection between policy, real estate development, and homeownership. We do this with serious intention because it is clear that the sustainability and upside of homeownership are inextricably tied to the consistent flow of capital into communities, evolving political landscape, and access individuals have to wealth-building opportunities.”

Learn more about the cohort experience in The 2020 Journey to Protect & Advance Equitable Homeownership, by Shandra Richardson, program manager, who leads the Trust’s homeownership work.

Learn more about the data, research, and insights that informed the cohort in Chicago Housing Overview: Preserving Affordability and Expanding Accessibility, co-authored by Urban Institute and Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University.