Written by NHC

The Black Homeownership Collaborative (BHC) is delighted to invite you to the celebration of our one-year anniversary at Atlanta Metropolitan State College in Atlanta, Georgia on June 20, 2022.

Almost a year ago, we announced the BHC on the first federal Juneteenth holiday in Cleveland, Ohio, with HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and Senator Sherrod Brown. The holiday was significant in that we wanted to recognize the history of racial segregation in America and our intention to counter the impacts of harmful housing policies on the Black community through our collective work. This year, we look forward to hosting Ginnie Mae President Alanna McCargo; Mayor of Atlanta Andre Dickens; National Urban League President Marc Morial; Mortgage Bankers Association Chair Kristy Fercho; and many more Atlanta-based housing groups, local leaders, and elected officials at our celebration.

The event will highlight the unique position that Atlanta has in advancing Black homeownership and offer intentional strategies and solutions for local housing leaders to offer the 177,000 mortgage-ready Black millennials in Atlanta. BHC will launch our consumer-facing website that makes it easier for potential first-time homebuyers to assess their readiness for homeownership, learn about the process from a trusted source, and be connected to a housing counselor or homeownership advisor.

Mortgage-ready homebuyers will be directly connected with a list of real estate professionals and mortgage lenders. We believe there is an opportunity for the Atlanta metro area to lead the nation in increasing the Black homeownership rate. We hope that you will spend your holiday with us! Contact NHC Policy and Research Director Luke Villalobos if you are interested in attending. Speakers and panel discussions This event will feature remarks from several public officials and leaders in industry and advocacy, including: Alanna McCargo is President of Ginnie Mae. Her career in housing finance spans decades and has centrally focused on how America’s housing finance system can equitably and affordably serve the capital and credit needs of all households. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Alanna was Vice President of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a social and economic policy research firm where she led and developed evidence-based research and analysis on the U.S Housing Finance system. Andre Dickens is the 61st Mayor of Atlanta.

A proud native of Atlanta and a product of Atlanta Public Schools, Mayor Dickens is focused on bringing opportunity and equity to the city that he loves. Mayor Dickens’ agenda is rooted in Moving Atlanta Forward, through improving public safety, increasing opportunities for the city’s young people, empowering neighborhoods, and investing in housing and combatting homelessness, all while fostering a culture of integrity in the City. Marc H. Morial is the President and CEO of the National Urban League.

Over the last 15 years, Marc has expanded the reach of our services by empowering our affiliate movement and created a framework to create policies that serve communities of color. As Mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002, Morial led New Orleans’ renaissance and left office with a 70% approval rating. Kristy Fercho chair of the Mortgage Bankers Association and executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo Home Lending, where she oversees one of the nation’s leading combined home lenders and servicers. In her role, Fercho leads a team of more than 25,000 mortgage professionals in sales, operations, servicing, capital markets, portfolio management, and related business, risk management, and supporting functions.  

A Focus on Atlanta: Local Perspectives and Sustainable Homeownership The Atlanta metro region has the potential to lead the nation in promoting homeownership for Black families. Research from Freddie Mac has shown that the region has one of the highest populations of mortgage-ready Black Americans in the country, making it an important opportunity to help close the racial homeownership gap.

This panel will focus on the perspectives of local stakeholders and explore how the city can lead by example in engaging Black communities and offering sustainable homeownership solutions for its residents. Panelists will discuss the unique setting of the region, innovative local partnerships, effective local and federal policy tools, as well as local lessons that can translate into state and federal policy solutions. This panel will include: Ashani O’Mard is Senior Vice President for Strategic Housing Investments at the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership.

A seasoned affordable housing and community development professional, Ashani O’Mard combines her passions and talents for connecting people to pathways of prosperity and addressing Atlanta’s housing affordability crisis. She has worked in community banking, affordable housing, and led teams in fundraising and capital development. As a leader in the affordable housing space, she strives to connect housing affordability to greater social outcomes. Loretta Williamson is Head of Mortgage Strategic Growth for Truist Bank.

Loretta has over 20 years of mortgage experience and is a subject matter expert on Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Housing Finance Agency lending and Down Payment Assistance. Loretta’s expertise has led her where she is today. Loretta currently leads a team that is responsible for developing strategies to attract new clients such as first time homebuyers, millennials, undeserved segments and overall inclusive lending. Loretta is also responsible for the creation and implementation of strategy tactics and initiatives that influence CRA growth and mitigating HMDA and Fair Lending risk. Nancy Flake Johnson is president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta. She has served as Vice President of Programs for the Detroit Urban League, led Howard University’s Small Business Development Center, was a tax manager with Coopers & Lybrand, and operated an accounting, tax and consulting practice.

The Power of Collaboration: Innovative Partnerships and National Initiatives to Close the Racial Homeownership Gap The Black Homeownership Collaborative launched a year ago with the bold intention of increasing Black homeownership by 3 million net new households by 2030. Since its launch, collaborative members have been convening strategic meetings and finding creative ways to collaborate toward moving us closer to our collective goal. Whether that’s taking meetings jointly with high-ranking elected officials, drafting collective sign-on letters, convening forums, or finding ways to be involved in each other’s initiatives, the Collaborative has served as a meeting place for bold and creative thinking on advocacy. This panel will present the research results from various members of the Collaborative, discuss what we have learned, what we need to understand better, and how we can work together to make progress towards our ultimate goal of 3 million new homeowners.

This panel will include: Cy Richardson is a Senior Vice President at the National Urban League, and a member of the League’s Executive Leadership Team. Prior to being appointed in 2013 to lead the League’s Programs Department, he previously served as Vice President for Housing and Community Development where he promoted asset building and wealth creation for people of color in urban America. In his current role he leads the League’s program design, implementation and evaluation activities, supporting national efforts to create economic and social opportunities and ensure that prosperity is widely shared regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or geography. As a grants officer, he has supported efforts to increase economic security and mobility for low-income families, close the racial wealth gap, and advance financial inclusion.

Laurie Benner is Associate Vice President of Programs at the National Fair Housing Alliance. is responsible for developing, implementing, managing, and evaluating innovative national programs designed to advance research, programs, and policies that provide equitable access to homeownership, housing, economic, and other opportunities. Her primary focus is to spearhead the Keys Unlock Dreams initiative – a 10-city program aimed at expanding affordable and fair housing options; increasing the homeownership rate and related benefits for people and communities of color; preventing an unbalanced recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; and closing the racial wealth and homeownership gaps.

Bryan Greene is Vice President of Policy Advocacy at the National Association of REALTORS® where he oversees all legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of the association’s 1.4 million members. Bryan joined NAR in November 2019, and spent his first year at NAR raising the association’s profile in Washington and nationwide on all fair-housing-related policy matters as NAR’s first Director of Fair Housing Policy.


Source: The Black Homeownership Collaborative (BHC)

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