COLUMBIA, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In April, Realtor.com® challenged the real estate industry to join its Closing the Gap Challenge to help overcome the inequality and history of discriminatory practices blocking homeownership for underserved and underrepresented communities.
Today, Veterans United Home Loans announced that it has stepped up to meet the challenge with a $100,000 donation.
“Veterans United is excited to accept the challenge by our friends at Realtor.com® and do our part to encourage other organizations to jump on board,” said Veterans United Chief Marketing Officer, Kris Farmer. “Veterans United’s mission is to help our nation’s heroes achieve the American Dream of homeownership. We want to do our part to make sure people of color and low-to-moderate income homebuyers, including our nation’s Veterans, continue to have improved access to the housing market. During challenging economic times, these issues are even more important for us all to advocate for.”
Realtor.com® will match Veterans United Home Loans’ Equity DPA fund donation with an additional $100,000. The challenge is a part of Realtor.com®s’ “Closing the Gap Program” that addresses the homeownership disparity in America. The Homeownership Council of America’s (HCA) Equity Down Payment Assistance Fund supports Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and low-to-moderate income homebuyers.
The homeownership rates for communities of color are; Black and African Americans (43.1%); Hispanic and Latino (48.4%); Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (61.2%). The current homeownership rates for these communities are still well below the rates of white homebuyers (74.4%), according to Census data.
"We'd like to thank Veterans United for joining us in this challenge and helping in our goal to remove some of the barriers to homeownership that have impacted BIPOC and low-to-moderate income families,” said Realtor.com® Chief Marketing Officer, Mickey Neuberger. “HCA’s Equity DPA fund will help pay for down payments and closing costs for people of color and low-to-moderate income buyers, and the more companies that join us in this challenge, the more families we can help get into a home of their own.”
The HCA is a national nonprofit whose mission is to bring equitable access to homeownership credit to America's underserved communities. The nonprofit will manage the distribution of funds following program guidelines and in partnership with lenders and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved organizations.
"It’s truly meaningful when leaders in the industry like Veterans United and Realtor.com® come together to deliver resources to underserved and hardworking households who are striving to attain homeownership,” said Gabe del Rio, CEO of HCA. “We are thrilled to have more partners and donors come on to support Equity DPA and hope that many more companies follow in their footsteps as we work to narrow the wealth gap in America together."
Eligible applicants must be a first-time homebuyer (per HUD, not a homeowner for three years before home purchase date), participate in homebuyer education provided by a housing counseling agency approved by either HUD, Freddie Mac, or Fannie Mae, and must be either low-to-moderate income or Black, Indigenous, Hispanic Latino, Mixed Races & Ethnicities, or People of Color.
HCA is working to raise enough annual commitments from donors to reach at least 5,000 minority and low-income homebuyers nationally.
About Veterans United Home Loans
Based in Columbia, Missouri, the full-service national lender financed more than $29.9 billion in loans in 2021 and is the country's largest VA purchase lender, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs Lender Statistics. The company’s mission is to help Veterans and service members take advantage of the home loan benefits earned by their service.
VeteransUnited.com | 1-800-884-5560 | 1400 Veterans United Drive, Columbia, MO 65203 | Veterans United Home Loans NMLS # 1907 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). A VA approved lender; Not endorsed or sponsored by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs or any government agency. Licensed in all 50 states. For State Licensing information, please visit www.veteransunited.com/licenses/.
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