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Coalition breaks down barriers, aids 13 Black homebuyers in Spokane

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Coalition breaks down barriers, aids 13 Black homebuyers in Spokane

News Brief by Mary Feusner | FāVS News

In its first year, Black Homeownership Spokane is supporting 13 participants on their journey toward purchasing homes through its homebuyer activities

BHS is a coalition of community, nonprofit and for-profit organizations dedicated to breaking down barriers to accessing homeownership in Spokane County. The coalition serves individuals and families that are foundationally Black, Indigenous or people of color. 

BHS is composed of seven Spokane organizations: Take up the Cause, the Carl Maxey Center, Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center, Vision Properties, Jacquelynne Sandoval Real Estate, Community Frameworks and Habitat for Humanity-Spokane

“No matter where you are on the path to homeownership, Black Homeownership Spokane supports your individual needs and goals to build generational wealth,” said Chancey Jones, executive director of Take up the Cause. 

Learning about the homebuying process

According to officials from Habitat for Humanity, the BHS has a 10-month program that meets once a month to help participants learn about the homebuying process, share progress and hold each other accountable to improve their finances and better position themselves to purchase a home. 

Participants who complete the program may benefit from increased credit scores, access to down payment assistance and the confidence to navigate the homebuying process, said Michelle Girardot, CEO.

“Even if a participant is not homebuyer-ready by the end of the ten-month program, they will have the tools and roadmap to get there in the future. It is all about accessing the information,” said Jones. 

According to Girardot, BHS’s nonprofit partners provide curriculum support along with capital through down payment assistance programs. The assistance programs are needed as the cost of purchasing a home has increased in Spokane. 

“These efforts deepen our commitment to increasing homeownership opportunities for Black individuals and families,” said Girardot. “They help address the racial and systemic bias that has stymied access to homeownership for generations.”

Down payment assistance

“As part of this effort, Community Frameworks is offering down payment assistance to eligible BHS participants,” said CEO of Community Frameworks Deb Elzinga. 

Elzinga said participants who qualify may access significant down payment assistance. The funds come in the form of a deferred loan and must be paid back in the future.  

According to Elzings, “Community Frameworks has pledged $1,125,000 in funding for this initiative.”

This year’s program is full, however BHS is preparing for next year’s program and curriculum.Those interested in participating can contact LaKeisha Davis at [email protected]

Mary Feusner
Mary Feusner
Mary Feusner is a senior at Washington State University, pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Her passion for history and religions, which began when she was a child, along with a class taught by Tracy Simmons at WSU, led to her initial interest in religion journalism. Beyond writing, Mary has a love for reading and collecting fiction novels. She currently serves as a student ambassador for the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at WSU. She is eager to gain experience in journalism and make meaningful contributions to the field. She is excited for the opportunity to learn from the dedicated journalists at FāVS News.

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