By Ryan Velez
Though you may not have heard of it, we are currently in the midst of Realtist Week, April 23rd to April 29th. Dating back to the 1970’s, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), first started this week to show the value of Black homeownership in strengthening and stabilizing communities. In particular, this week puts focus on taking the urban neighborhoods across the country and making them more desirable places to live. A recent article from EURWeb sheds light not only on the week itself but the need for it in the current economic climate.
To celebrate and promote the week, NAREB’s local chapters are holding community events as well as scheduling activities designed to attract and engage social, civic, and business organizations, along with the Black church community.
“NAREB has taken on the charge to encourage Black Americans to purchase homes as the first step toward building wealth. We have always aspired to be homeowners and live the American Dream. Now is the time for us to turn that aspiration into reality; for ourselves, our families and for our future generations,” said Ron Cooper, NAREB president.
Notably, Black homeownership has been on a decline since 2004, when it hit a peak of nearly 50%. It is now down to just below 42% compared to the non-Hispanic white ownership rate of 72%. On top of the ability to amass wealth through the sale of a home, the ability to transfer said wealth to future generations plays a big role in the wealth gap that minorities have to deal with on a regular basis. While it can be difficult for Black people to make the move to buying their own home, especially in recent years, NAREB is working hard to try and explain the potential benefits to people, as well as encourage black families to work towards this major step.
“Our Realtist Week events in over 30 cities and more than 21 states demonstrates NAREB is at the forefront of Building Black Wealth Through Homeownership in the country,” stated Antoine M. Thompson, national executive director for NAREB. Events started on Sunday with church services and will be capped off on Saturday the 29th with a Community Wealth Building Day. People will have the chance to talk to mortgage lenders; housing counselors; insurance experts, and representatives from local government, as well as learn about first-time homebuyer and payment assistance programs.