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During NAREB’s annual “State of Black America” forum, Donnell Williams, the newly installed president of NAREB, an�nounced an aggressive program to reach out and encourage Black millennials to consider, or re-consider, homeownership as a wealth building tool.

According to the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) wealth building usually begins with that first investment in owning your own home.

Whether you purchase a first-time “starter” home or inherit a property or residence, you start down the road to building wealth. But something has changed in the Black community. The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest statistics indicate that the Black homeownership rate has dropped once again.

Now at 40.6 percent, the rate starkly signals a continual loss of wealth for Black Americans. By comparison, the non-Hispanic white homeownership rate for the same period was reported to be 73.1 percent, a nearly 30 percent difference. There’s a problem and NAREB is on point to stop the loss and return Black Americans to wealth building through homeownership of real estate investment.

NAREB is aware that the Black community, particularly its local and national leaders, may need a clear, strong wake-up call to reverse this daunting downward trend. What are the causes? But more importantly, what are the solutions? What can the community of concern do to prompt home purchase and therefore, wealth building?

Expert panelists, steeped in the issues, the disparities and likely solutions to raising Black homeownership are committed to working with NAREB on its mission to restore confidence in the real estate market, identify critical systemic blockages, and outline the concerted advocacy strategies that lawmakers at every level of government need to keep in mind to improve Black homeownership outcomes.

During the recent Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference forum, Donnell Williams, the newly installed president of NAREB, announced an aggressive program to reach out and encourage Black millennials to consider, or re-consider, homeownership as a wealth building tool.

“Statistics show that there are 1.7 million Black millennials making $100,000 or more and could improve their financial futures with homeownership or participation in real estate investment opportunities. NAREB is determined to reach them with messages that rebut, yet improve, some of their current lifestyle choices,” said Williams.

What’s more, he added, homeownership is critical.

“One clear message to millennials … think about a house before you buy the car,” said Williams.

As he explains, wealth building is all about smart choices. Dreams need not be deferred. Homeownership is possible and still desirable as a wealth building tool. NAREB, with its nationwide network of predominantly Black American real estate professionals are here to help find the wealth building pathways that best suit lifestyles and incomes.

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