Updated 05:46 PM EDT, Mon, May 17, 2021

Latino & Black Homeowners Supported by New Public Education Campaign 'Mi Primera Casa!'

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The Hispanic Federation and the New York Urban League recently collaborated on a public education campaign called "¡Mi Primera Casa!" or "My First Home" aimed to increase the number of Latino and black homeowners.

The project aspires to raise awareness to the issues that are keeping communities of color from homeownership, as well as providing solutions to these problems through financial education, NBC News reported. It also highlights the importance of owning a home to families of color, given that this contributes to a more stable and wealthy economy.

Jose Davila, Hispanic Federation's vice president for policy and government relations, said in a conference call on Wednesday, Sept. 2, that one of the biggest difficulties Latinos and blacks face is their inability to acquire wealth. According to Davila, these communities "struggle to save money to pay rent" and resort to "improve their credit in hopes of owning their own homes," NBC News added.

A recent report from the Pew Research Center revealed that the wealth gap between whites and communities of color are widening. The report indicated that the median wealth of white households was $141,900 in 2013, which is 10 times higher than those of Hispanic families ($13,700) and 13 times than those of black households ($11,000).

José Calderón, president of the Hispanic Federation, said that Latino and black families "disproportionally face difficulty in accessing loans," a problem that also existed in past generations, the news outlet added. He said that communities of color make up 30% of the U.S. population, but they only receive 12% of the country's home loans.

Arva Rice, president and CEO of the New York Urban League, said during Wednesday's event that aside from being denied home loans at pricier rates compared to non-Hispanic applicants, black families also experience higher rent costs. Rice said that blacks paid an average of $820 a month in rent in 2012, an increase from 2005's $686.

A recent report from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals stated that the disparity between mortgage applicants is caused by "the use of conventional credit scoring models and the lack of affordable home options," according to Time.

Calderón and Rice said that the campaign also plans to push Congress and the Obama administration to restore the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enterprises so they can go back to boosting the homeownership positions of Latino and black families, NBC News added.

The firms, which were created by the federal government, work with mortgage lenders to make lower mortgage rates accessible to people. However, 2008's financial meltdown prompted the two companies to go into conservatorship and operate under the jurisdiction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the news outlet explained.

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