LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — According to U.S. Census data, a significant homeownership gap exists between Black and white households nationally, especially in Southern Nevada. A coalition was announced at a press conference Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. on the steps of City Hall in downtown Las Vegas to address this issue.
With a goal of closing this Black homeownership gap in the Las Vegas Valley, Homie, a tech-based real estate company, gathered a diverse group of community organizations and leaders, including city of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Las Vegas professional football player Nelson Agholor, to announce the creation of the “Coalition to Make Homes Possible.”
Community leaders in attendance:
City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman
Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear
Las Vegas professional football player Nelson Agholor
Ken Evans, President, Urban Chamber of Commerce
Kenadie Cobbin-Richardson, Nevada Partners
Shanta Patton, Regional Vice President, National Association of Real Estate Brokers
Elias Benjelloun, Head of Homie Helps Las Vegas
According to the coalition, in Southern Nevada, only 35% of Blacks are homeowners, compared to a supermajority for white households.
“The city of Las Vegas is proud to support this initiative that will help to close the black homeownership gap in our community,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman.
The collective mission of the Coalition’s founding partners is to close this Black homeownership gap by empowering up to 25,000 families with the resources to achieve homeownership over the next ten years, including down-payment assistance, financial coaching, credit repair, housing counseling, and real estate services.
Announcing the coalition today, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman was joined by Elias Benjelloun, head of Homie Helps Las Vegas, Homie’s community service initiative.
“We applaud the many organizations involved with this effort that have come together to develop an actionable plan to give this issue more than just lip service. We stand with the Coalition to make homeownership a reality for everyone in Las Vegas,” added Mayor Goodman.
Homie is sponsoring the coalition whose founding members include:
The Urban Chamber of Commerce
Nevada Housing Division
City of Las Vegas
National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB)
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA)
NID Housing Counseling Agency of Southern Nevada, and AmeriFirst Financial.
“The Black homeownership gap is worse today than it was over 50 years ago during segregation. We must act now and with conviction to address it,” said Ken Evans, President of the Urban Chamber of Commerce.
“Most people think that the NFL is the surest way to build wealth, but it’s obviously a very narrow path for only a few. Homeownership, on the other hand, is the surest way to build wealth and promote family security for everyone,” said the Las Vegas professional football player Nelson Agholor.
Homie leverages technology, eliminates high fees and commissions, and ensures quality customer service, is sponsoring this coalition through its Homie Helps community initiative.
Homie Helps will support the coalition’s first year of community awareness and outreach efforts, including staff, events, and advertising. Homie is also offering first-time home buyers up to $2,500 back at the closing of their home purchase.
“Homie was founded with the mission to make homeownership easy, affordable and accessible to all,” said Elias Benjelloun, head of Homie Helps Las Vegas.
“Closing the Black homeownership gap in Las Vegas starts with educating Black families on the home-buying process,” added Kenadie Cobbin-Richardson, Executive Director of Nevada Partners.
The Coalition plans to hold regular educational events, virtually and in person when appropriate.
The first Coalition event will be an online “Master Class on Building Black Wealth with Homeownership” on Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon, during which participants will learn the basics of homeownership.