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Realtor.com® Drives to “Close the Gap” of Homeownership in America

Realtor.com® is donating the first $100,000 to the Homeownership Council of America’s new Equity DPA Fund and matching donations of those who respond to its Closing the Gap Challenge

SANTA CLARA, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — In April, we celebrate National Fair Housing Month, but data shows the realities of inequality and a history of discriminatory policies are still blocking homeownership for underserved and underrepresented communities. As a result, Realtor.com® is challenging others in the real estate industry to join us in our Closing the Gap Challenge, launched today.

Realtor.com® is teaming up with the Homeownership Council of America (HCA) and donating the first $100,000 to their new Equity Down Payment Assistance Fund that targets BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) and low to moderate income home buyers. Realtor.com® will then match every donation by HCA’s Equity DPA fund through June 30, 2022, up to $100,000. This challenge is part of Realtor.com®‘s new Closing the Gap program that focuses on addressing the homeownership disparity in America.

According to Realtor.com®, the homeownership rates for Blacks (43.1%), Hispanics (48.4%), and Asian, Native American, Pacific Islanders (61.2%) are still well below the ownership rate of whites (74.4%).

“At Realtor.com®, we believe it’s our responsibility to not only address disparity in homeownership but bring others alongside to take up the challenge. As a company, we strive to make a positive impact on fair housing issues, but as an industry we have the power to eliminate it,” said Mickey Neuberger, chief marketing officer for Realtor.com®. “With our Closing the Gap Challenge, we are inviting other leaders in the real estate industry to donate to HCA’s Equity DPA fund that specifically helps people of color and low to moderate income consumers afford down payments and closing costs. Survey data shows having enough for a down payment is one of the largest barriers to homeownership and with this fund we can directly help people break through to start building generational wealth.”

The Homeownership Council of America will manage distribution of the funds following their guidelines. To be eligible the applicant must, among other things, be a first-time home buyer (per HUD, not a home owner for 3 years prior to home purchase date), participate in homebuyer education provided by a housing counseling agency approved by either the HUD, Freddie Mac, or Fannie Mae and must be either low to moderate income (“LMI”) or Black, Indigenous, Hispanic Latino, Mixed Races & Ethnicities, or People of Color (“BIPOC”). 

Gabe del Rio, CEO of HCA added, “We are thrilled to launch Equity DPA for the pilot states, with Realtor.com® as our first major donor. We ask that other major companies follow in their footsteps and join forces to narrow the homeownership gap. Our initial goal is to reach at least 5,000 underserved homebuyers nationally; as we efficiently deploy donor funds to deserving

households who are striving to attain homeownership. We are prioritizing new areas with donor interest and consistent data analysis of the racial and ethnic homeownership gap.”

Companies who want to participate in the Closing the Gap Challenge should contact HCA by email at info@homeownershipcouncil.org or visit the website and complete an inquiry form at homeownershipcouncil.org/equitydpa

This challenge is part of Realtor.com®‘s new Closing the Gap program that’s focused on increasing the homeownership rate of racial minorities. Other initiatives recently launched as part of this program include:

  • A down payment assistance search tool on Realtor.com/for everyone where consumers can see if they are eligible for programs that can help fund their home purchase. This search functionality is provided by DownPaymentResource.com who has created a platform that matches buyers with programs that meet their individual home buying needs.
  • down payment assistance guide to educate potential buyers on the types of programs available.
  • A micromortgage resource center pilot with Fahe, a non-profit mortgage lender, in the Louisville, Kentucky metro area, with the goal of expanding to other markets. The program focuses on homes priced $100,000 or less with the goal of expanding access to providers of small-dollar mortgage products, so more people can achieve sustainable homeownership.
  • A free First-time Homebuying 101 eBook in both English and Spanish that educates readers on the process of buying their first home.

For more information about Realtor.com’s commitment to Fair Housing visit: realtor.com/foreveryone.About Realtor.com®

Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 25 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps offers a marketplace where people can learn about their options, trust in the transparency of information provided to them, and get services and resources that are personalized to their needs. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today’s on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. For more information, visit Realtor.com®.

SOURCE Realtor.com

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