Wells Fargo plans to assist 250,000 African Americans become homeowners by 2027 with a $60 billion lending commitment. Over the next 10 years, Wells Fargo will build up this program by offering continued support with $15 million toward initiatives promoting financial education and counseling and increasing the diversity of their home lending sales team.
“Wells Fargo’s $60 billion lending goal can contribute to economic growth by making responsible homeownership possible for more African Americans in communities across the country,” said Brad Blackwell, EVP and head of housing policy and homeownership growth strategies for Wells Fargo. “We are proud to be the first mortgage lender to make a public commitment to help increase African American homeownership. And, we are grateful for the support of key housing and civil rights organizations, who work alongside us to increase economic prosperity in our communities.”
A report by the Urban Institute notes how the African American community was the hardest hit during the housing crisis. Black homeownership grew by six percent when the Fair Housing Act passed, but that growth was stunted between 2000 and 2015, and eventually reversed. Since 2000, African Americans have seen the most decline in homeownership of any group.
This has not dampened the desire to own homes, though. Through consumer surveys provided by Ipsos Public Affairs, Wells Fargo has found that African Americans have a positive outlook on homeownership. A 2016 survey finds that 90 percent of African Americans view home ownership as a “dream come true” and 79 percent believe homeownership is essential for families. Fifty-one percent of African Americans are planning on buying a home in the next two years.
Wells Fargo joins the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) alongside the NAACP and the National Urban League in bridging the gap of homeownership. “NAREB applauds Wells Fargo’s $60 billion loan commitment. The bank is the first financial institution to acknowledge publicly Black Americans’ wealth-building potential which could be greatly improved through homeownership,” said Ron Cooper, president of NAREB. “Let us all work together and grow this initiative which represents a solid and meaningful start for more Black Americans to become homeowners and wealth-builders.”
Read the announcement from Wells Fargo here.