Black Home Initiative (BHI)

We aspire to reach a time when the homeownership rates for Black communities in Washington state will be equal to those of their white peers. 

Black Home Initiative

Discriminatory housing practices and decades of disinvestment, have a long history in our communities — creating a staggering wealth gap that persists today. Black Home Initiative (BHI) targets the racial inequities at the core of the housing ecosystem in an effort to increase homeownership among Black households.

As HDC, we share in the widespread sense of urgency: never has it been more imperative that we do everything in our power to nurture systems that promote racial equity. This is a deeply embedded part of our mission. It is well known that families thrive when they have the opportunity to build assets and pass them down to future generations. For wealthier households, building intergenerational wealth typically includes owning property. But systemic barriers have excluded many Black families from accessing this path to prosperity.

Black Home Initiative (BHI) is a new regional effort to address these systemic injustices. The goal: generate 1,500 new Black first-time low-to-moderate income homeowners in the next five years in South Seattle, South King County and North Pierce County. This multi-sector initiative is part of a national effort by the Center for Community Investment (CCI) to target racial inequities in housing across six U.S. cities. Our partner, Civic Commons is the convening organization for the Seattle site. To achieve this goal we must all work together to implement the Black Homeownership 7-Point Plan, a comprehensive plan that was the result of the collaborative work of more than 90 partners.

HDC is a leading advocacy partner in implementing the 7-Point Plan through coordinating and implementing a coherent policy strategy, bringing a BHI Network together around a collective advocacy agenda, and elevating a newly created Homeownership Policy Framework aimed at addressing the persistent historic inequities. Our policy and advocacy work, focused on increasing the supply of and access to affordable homeownership, is essential to the success of BHI. The policy framework includes policy strategies in four areas: Zoning and Regulatory Reform, Funding, Large Scale Acquisition of Land and Cost Reduction for both supply and demand.

We are building a BHI Network; of people inspired and driven to take action to close the racial homeownership and wealth gaps, and of those ready to roll up their sleeves and advocate for homeownership across the Puget Sound Region. This effort will take all of us coming together to make change possible. Join the BHI Network email list by reaching out to our Homeownership Policy Coordinator, Bambi Chávez, at [email protected].

The Black Homeownership 7-Point Plan

This Black Homeownership 7-Point Plan was led by the Coalition for More Housing Choices, in partnership with the following organizations:

Homeownership Disparities Work Group Report

Black Homeownership Summit: Panel Discussion

In this session moderated by Michelle Merriweather (Urban League), panelist discuss systemic barriers to Black homeownership and offer solutions to equitably address the crisis. Panelists are Darryl Smith (HomeSight), Donald King (Nehemiah Initiative Seattle & Coalition for More Housing Choices), and Nicole Bascomb-Green (US Bank & National Assoc. of Real Estate Brokers).

Resources

What we are reading or watching about Black Homeownership: