Seven Madison-area families will be receiving a $15,000 grant to put toward the purchase of their first home in 2022, OWN IT: Building Black Wealth announced on Tuesday, as the organization is issuing its inaugural round of grants as part of a new program and down payment fund administered in partnership with One City Schools.
“Own It: Building Black Wealth,” is designed to eliminate substantial barriers to wealth and homeownership for Black families in the greater Madison area.
“There is a lack of trust, a lack of education, and a serious lack of accessible funding for
families of color when it comes to housing and homeownership.” said Sara Alvarado,
a member of the OWN IT Advisory Team, in a statement. “This program fills that gap, and represents a seismic shift in financing where the community collectively provides the family wealth that Black and Brown families — our neighbors — have been denied for centuries.”
One City families receiving the grant have completed a personal finance course taught by local experts on “wealth building” and “homeownership.” Upon receiving the grant money, families have nine months to purchase an owner-occupied single-family, condo, or duplex.
“Thank you everyone for this great opportunity! As a single mom of two, this grant means a lot to me and my family,” said Raghiatou B., a One City Schools parent in a statement. “This program has taught me so much about building and maintaining wealth. I learned about how important it is to have an emergency fund saved up for rainy days, how to set ‘SMART’ goals, how to be a wise spender, which valuables are more of an asset, how to build my credit, and more. I am also looking forward to learning more about building equity and all it takes to be a homeowner in the monthly cohorts! I can’t wait to become a new homeowner this summer for the first time ever!”
OWN IT: Building Black Wealth is a private sector initiative designed and led by a diverse team of Madison-area professionals in the real estate, banking, and finance industries who acknowledge the systemic racism embedded within financial systems, practices, and policies.
“In banking and finance, there has been a lack of representation from communities of
color,” said Jeff Mack, First Vice President of Park Bank and member of the OWN IT
Advisory Team, in a press release. “And when voices of a multicultural community are not at the proverbial table, systemic policies and practices of yesteryear have ripple effects on our communities that we see evident today. What OWN IT is looking to address is the lack of accessible funding for families of color when it comes to housing and homeownership.”