Llaves De Tu Casa Iniciativa Launches

Posted: June 18, 2021

As part of Mayor Jerry Dyer’s One Fresno mission to build a more prosperous and inclusive city, the City of Fresno (COF) today announced a comprehensive program to dispel myths about the homeownership process and to increase the ability of Latino families in the City of Fresno and the Greater Fresno County Region to buy their own homes and grow generational wealth.

The Llaves De Tu Casa Iniciativa is a financial education program open to all County of Fresno residents but with a focus on increasing Latino homeownership rates. The partners driving the initiative are NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals) Fresno, the City of Fresno, Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of San Francisco, Self-Help Enterprises, and Union Bank.

“I am thrilled to welcome the Llaves De Tu Casa Iniciativa to the City of Fresno,” said Deputy Mayor Matthew Grundy, who is heading the Dyer administration’s drive to increase homeownership rates in BIPOC communities. “This initiative will help more Hispanic families to experience homeownership, ultimately leading toward more sustainable housing, investment and the creation of generational wealth. Fresno needs to see more of our Hispanic residents owning homes in the city they call home.”

“Llaves De Tu Casa Iniciativa allows us to educate and advocate for our community,” stated NAHREP Fresno President Mirna Garcia. “Our mission is to enhance the economic empowerment of our members and the community through education, community involvement, and legislative involvement. We are committed to democracy in housing, which increases the opportunity for homeownership.”

The Llaves De Tu Casa Iniciativa program consists of down payment and closing cost assistance, home buyer grants, comprehensive home buyer education and counseling including first-time home buyer workshops and flexible mortgage products and programs for Fresno neighborhoods.

NAHREP Realtors will sponsor homebuyer orientation workshops and online resources to help prospective homebuyers identify potential homes. Union Bank will offer mortgages and grants to buyers in targeted areas. Self-Help Enterprises will also offer technical assistance to help prospective purchasers to access down payment and closing cost assistance. In parallel, FHLBank San Francisco is partnering with its member Union Bank on the WISH Program, designed to provide grants of up to $22,000 for down payment and closing costs to qualified applicants earning up to 80% of AMI (about $55,750 for a family of four).

These programs are needed to increase chronically low rates of home ownership in the Latino community. According to the NAHREP State of Hispanic Homeownership Report in 2020, the nationwide rate of homeownership was 41.8% for Latinos. In the City of Fresno, Latino residents make up 48% of the population but have one of the lowest local home ownership rates at 37% compared to non-Latino counterparts at 66.3%.

Homeownership is the single most powerful strategy for closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. The income gap between the non-Hispanic and Latino population remains too large; the average non-Hispanic White households has a median household income 29% higher than that of the average Latino household. While Latinos have been closing this gap, pandemic-induced losses are likely to curb income growth. Due to the pandemic, 54% of Hispanic households reported income losses in 2020, 12% more than the national average. Preventing a wave of foreclosures will be critical to maintaining the Hispanic homeownership rate over the next few years.

One of the biggest obstacles for Latino homebuyers is saving money for a down payment. With the support of Union Bank and FHLBank San Francisco and other funders, a total of up to $28,000 could be available to qualified buyers under the Llaves De Tu Casa Iniciativa.

“For lower-income families and individuals, down payment and closing costs are significant barriers to homeownership and the wealth-building opportunity ownership represents,” said Marietta Núñez, Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “We are thrilled that our member Union Bank is partnering with NAHREP Fresno to proactively reach out to aspiring homebuyers in the Fresno area who can benefit from a WISH matching grant.”

“Racial disparities in homeownership exacerbate a widening racial wealth gap. Affordable homeownership – and equitable access to it – is a critical component of a vibrant community and healthy economy. Self-Help Enterprises is committed to helping households find success as first time homebuyers and to increase the homeownership rates in the greater Fresno community,” said Tom Collishaw, President& CEO of Self-Help Enterprises.

The first of six virtual homebuying information workshops (with Spanish language support) will take place on Saturday, June 26, 2021, 6 p.m. – 8p.m. PT.

To register for the workshops, visit EventBrite:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/llaves-de-tu-casa-city-of-fresno-tickets-158513432945

For more information, visit NAHREP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nahrepfresno/

Contacts:

NAHREP Fresno President Mirna Garcia

NAHREPFresno@outlook.com

(559) 429-5478

NAHREP Fresno Vice President Aldiva Rubalcava

(559) 214-0070

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