Steven A. Sugarman Speaks at 74th Annual NAREB Convention on Expanding Black Homeownership

CLEVELAND--()--The Change Company, America’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), announced today that its founder Steven Sugarman presented to the 74th Annual National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Sugarman spoke during the Legislative Forum and discussed the unique opportunity for advocacy that exists for NAREB and The Change Company to impact public policy and end government sponsored or sanctioned redlining in America. Mr. Sugarman discussed advocacy positions which would help to immediately expand homeownership across the Black community and begin to reduce the wealth gap between Black and white families in America.

Video of Mr. Sugarman’s speech is available here.

Reverend Everett Bell Jr., Change Company Community Advisory Board Chairman stated, “We are pleased to partner with NAREB to end the systemic racism and discriminatory practices all too common among traditional banks and lenders. Together we will encourage regulators, policymakers, and legislators to keep their election year promises to address these important issues and finally allow Black and other minority consumers to get home loans on equal terms with other borrowers.”

Mr. Sugarman said, “It was an honor to address the 74th Annual NAREB Convention and participate in their Legislative Forum: ‘Advocacy in Action’. This historic and distinguished trade association has led the fight to tear down barriers to homeownership through their tireless advocacy on behalf of racial equity and equal opportunity for Black Americans seeking homeownership. I look forward to working with the NAREB as they advocate for legislation and regulatory change designed to increase Black homeownership.”

The 74th annual NAREB Convention brings hundreds of Black professionals in the real estate industry together for training, networking, and career support. The convention featured speakers to help craft action strategies designed to lift the sluggish Black homeownership rate of 45.1% to bring it on par with the non-Hispanic White rate now at 73.8%. NAREB was founded in 1947 and is the oldest minority trade group in the country working to secure the right to equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or color. NAREB has advocated for legislation and supported or instigated legal challenges that ensure fair housing, sustainable homeownership, and access to credit for Black Americans. Simultaneously, NAREB advocates for and promotes access to business opportunities for Black real estate professionals in each of the real estate disciplines.

In March, The Change Company announced its partnership with Netflix to expand Black homeownership in America. The Netflix investment in affiliates of The Change Company is focused on bringing racial equity to home lending by financing Black homeowners, fairly and responsibly. Empowered by its partnership with Netflix, The Change Company and its home loan subsidiary also announced the launch of its Black Homeownership Initiative to lend over $1 billion to expand Black homeownership. The Change Company will facilitate its outreach to underbanked borrowers in Black communities through its network of over 500 lenders who utilize The Change Company’s proprietary origination platform, lending products, and technology.

About Steven Sugarman

Steven A. Sugarman founded The Change Company in 2017. The Change Company is a Community Development Financial Institution certified by the United States Department of Treasury and the State of California to expand access to lending and banking to Black, Latino and low-income borrowers and communities. The Change Company currently has financial partnerships with over 75 banks, insurance companies, asset managers, and socially responsible corporations such as Netflix. The Change Company offers its proprietary technology, lending, and banking products digitally, in partnership with over 1,000 non-bank lenders, and through its main operating subsidiaries Change Lending, ChangeFi, Change AMC, Change Escrow, and Change Home Mortgage. The Change Company was awarded the Best Leadership Team, Best CEO for Diversity 2021, and Best CEO for Women 2021 by Comparably in July 2021.

Mr. Sugarman previously founded Banc of California (NYSE: BANC) and served as the Board Chair, Chief Executive Officer and President until 2017. Under Mr. Sugarman’s leadership, Banc of California was recognized for leading one of Forbes Magazine’s Top Banks in America, Fortune Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies and as the largest, independent bank in California with an Outstanding rating from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for Community Development.

Mr. Sugarman pioneered Banc of California’s extensive community-oriented financial literacy program in partnership with non-profit, community and faith-based organizations and universities throughout Southern California. In 2014, Mr. Sugarman alongside President Bill Clinton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa helped to set two Guinness World Records for the world’s largest financial literacy event.

Mr. Sugarman also served as General Counsel of the National Diversity Coalition from 2017 to 2020. Mr. Sugarman is a board member of Los Angeles Team Mentoring (LATM) where he was the recipient of the LATM Keystone Award in 2014. Mr. Sugarman was awarded the Giraffe Award for leadership relating to public service and community development by the National Asian American Coalition and the National Diversity Coalition in 2015. He also received the Outstanding CEO Award from the Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County in 2015 and received the Bayanihan Award in 2017 as part of The Outstanding Filipinos Awards.

Mr. Sugarman is the co-author of The Forewarned Investor: Don’t Get Fooled Again by Corporate Fraud, published by Career Press and is a graduate of the Yale Law School and Dartmouth College.

About The Change Company

The Change Company empowers homeowners, small businesses, and consumers to pursue their American dreams by bringing social and racial equity to banking and lending. The Change Company’s team has built businesses that have lent over $50 billion to over 250,000 borrowers and provided financial services to over two million Americans. For more information, visit us at and


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