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JuneteenthKC and ReeceNichols Real Estate to hold homeownership workshop

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Posted at 7:38 PM, Apr 26, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo — In 2024, more people own homes than ever.

But the gap in home ownership between Black and white Americans is the biggest it’s been in a decade.

According to the National Association of Realtors, home ownership increased less than 1% for Blacks during the last 10 years.

Black home ownership went up slightly in 2022 to 44.1%, while home ownership stands at 72.2% among white Americans.

“There was legislation that was done 50, 100 years ago that systematically kept out of the ability to be in certain neighborhoods, to have the ability to be able to get a certain level of home loan," said Makeda Peterson with JuneteenthKC. "I mean that compounds into years and years of how big that gap is gonna be."

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Peterson helps lead the Homeowner and Financial Empowerment workshops at JuneteenthKC. While systemic inequality has brought us to now, she says knowledge and resources will take aspiring homeowners into the future.

The workshops are a joint effort with ReeceNichols Real Estate.

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“We literally go through the entire process of home ownership, what it looks like before it even starts,” said Kenya Lewis, a broker and salesperson.We are here and there are people that care enough to make sure that everyone has access to home ownership.”

Lewis says without equal access, generational wealth is at stake.

“The hope that we all should have in having a better life, you know, leaving something for our children, your grandchildren, having assets, those things will be eliminated,” said Lewis.

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Brandon Ford, a former client of Lewis, said finally getting the keys to his first family home felt like the American Dream. Especially after outrageous bidding wars and thirteen denied offers.

“We kind of had quite a bit of a journey and a struggle, “ said Ford.

Ford and his wife spent several years preparing their credit, savings and best plan of action.

They were ultimately successful, but Ford says for a lot of others that look like them, there's a different outcome.

“Whether it was redlining, or you know, even when a lot of minorities and Black Americans in particular were approved for home mortgages, a lot of times it was at an interest rate that was significantly higher than the other counterparties,” said Ford.

Since moving into their new home, the Ford’s have welcomed two additional members to their family. As they grow their legacy, Ford's advice to those who seek their path is to keep holding on.

“Wages aren’t really keeping up with the inflation, whether it’s rent or groceries, things of that sort. So it’s a lot harder and it can be discouraging, but I believe if there’s a will, there’s a way.”

The workshop is open to the public. For more information head to the JuneteenthKC website.