Five Homebuyer Assistance Funds for Black Coloradans
February is Black History Month and this year we are commemorating it by shedding light on five assistance programs designed to empower Black Coloradans in achieving their homeownership goals.
Homeownership stands as a pivotal driver of wealth accumulation. The existing disparity in homeownership rates contributes significantly to wealth gaps, particularly between Black and white households. According to the National Association of Realtors®, the homeownership rate for Black households is only around 44 percent, trailing behind the national average of 65.5 percent and even further behind the 72.7 percent average for white households. This stark difference represents the lowest racial homeownership rate in the nation, with the Black-white homeownership gap being larger in 2019 than it was in the 1960s!
The racial homeownership gap remains a pressing issue, with Black households encountering challenges in attaining homeownership compared to their white counterparts. Factors such as higher rates of mortgage denials and obstacles related to credit access disproportionately affect Black Americans. Historical injustices, including redlining and discriminatory lending practices, have left a lasting impact on the ability of Black Americans to access homeownership opportunities, contributing to the persistent disparities witnessed today.
Fortunately, several programs aim to bridge this gap. We've compiled a list of five options for Black Coloradans to access assistance, specifically targeting the formidable barriers of down payments and closing costs. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and various avenues exist to find assistance. A skilled Realtor® and their professional connections can assist in navigating these options and identifying the best resources for individual circumstances.
1. The Dearfield Fund for Black Wealth
The Dearfield Fund for Black Wealth provides up to $40,000 in down-payment assistance to first-time Black American homebuyers, facilitating the building of generational wealth. The down-payment assistance operates like a loan, but with no monthly payments or interest. Repayment occurs when homeowners sell or refinance, comprising the down-payment plus five percent of their home's appreciation. This unique approach allows the Dearfield Fund to serve more Black homeowners. Learn More
2. Homeownership Council of America (HCA) | BIPOC Donor Restricted Fund
HCA introduced new Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Programs in 2022, bringing equity to homeownership. The BIPOC Donor Restricted Fund, within these programs, offers down payment assistance for Black, Indigenous and People of Color. This initiative provides first-time homebuyers with three percent of a home's purchase price or up to $9,000 per homebuyer. The assistance is forgivable upon sustained homeownership of five years. Learn More
3. FirstBank & CHFA | PATH Grant Program
FirstBank has continued its partnership with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) to supply PATH (Providing Access to Homeownership) grants for down payment and closing cost assistance throughout Colorado. The PATH Grant program strives to eliminate barriers to homeownership for the Black and African American community in Colorado. It offers down payment assistance of up to $10,000 or a maximum of 20 percent of the purchase price. Eligible borrowers must identify as "Black or African American" in response to the demographic information request on a FirstBank mortgage application. Learn More
4. Project I See You | Shared Power
This initiative supports women who are first-time homeowners and small business owners, providing access to life-changing grants and a supportive network. Grant applications are open to women in Colorado who are in the process of buying their first home on their own, with preference given to women of color. Learn More
5. National Association of Real-Estate Brokers (NAREB) | 2Mn5 Program
The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) Two Million New Black Homeowner Program (2Mn5) addresses racial disparities in homeownership. Among its initiatives, down payment and closing cost assistance grants are available for Black homebuyers to apply for directly. NAREB can also help individuals find Black Realtist/Realtor® resources to help them in their journey. Learn More