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New group will help '1,000 Families of Color' in West Michigan become homeowners

According to the Federal Reserve, in 2019, the net worth of a homeowner was 40 times higher than that of a renter.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — There’s a new initiative in Grand Rapids to help 1,000 families of color become homeowners over the next three years.

Late Thursday afternoon is your first chance to sign up. The group, 1000 Families of Color Incorporated, has partnered with Project Green, a nonprofit which offers financial literacy programs and workshops. Also, by pairing up with realtors, lenders, churches and other nonprofits, the new organization hopes to provide the education and resources needed to make becoming a homeowner a reality.

Tanya Powell-May is the director of 1000 Families of Color Inc. She said, “There’s just different programs throughout the community and we’re just going to be the connectors to be able to help direct people where they need to go. We really believe that if we help people to improve their wealth, it’s been associated with just improving different areas of their lives: different educational opportunities, better health outcomes.”

You may be asking why a program like this is necessary. According to the Federal Reserve, in 2019, the net worth of a homeowner was 40 times higher than that of a renter. Plus, there are sizable differences in homeownership rates across racial groups, with minority groups falling well behind the national average. Also in 2019, the Federal Reserve found that here in the U.S., a typical hite family had an average net worth eight times greater than that of a Black family.

1000 Families of Color is hoping to address these disparities. Their kick-off event is from 4–6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 at LINC Up on Madison Avenue Southeast in Grand Rapids.

Anyone who lives in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon Counties can sign up. The organization is also hoping to help minority community members join the real estate workforce and gain financial independence, even if you are not interested in buying a home. You can RSVP for the event here.

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