Black San Diegans buys first home to get $ 1.25 million in new foundation support


Three San Diego nonprofits launched California’s first grant-based home buying assistance program specifically for blacks using $ 1.25 million in seed capital that, according to the participants, will attract additional contributions.

The goal is to help close the racial wealth gap in San Diego County, where studies show 65% of whites are homeowners, compared to 31% of blacks.

Nationally, the Federal Reserve’s survey of consumer finances shows that the average black household owns about 10 percent of the average white household’s net worth. Officials cited gaps in homeownership as the key to this disparity.

“Homeownership is critical to generational wealth,” said Pamela Gray Payton of the San Diego Foundation, which donated $ 1 million in seed money. “It has a long-term impact.”

An additional $ 250,000 was donated to the program by the San Diego branch of Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national non-profit organization focused on housing issues and community development. The organization will also help with mortgages.

“For generations, black Americans have faced systematic oppression and exclusion from access to finance and economic opportunities historically offered to other demographic groups,” the foundation said in its description of the program. “The impact of these stories on the health and wealth of black people continues to be profound.”

The Urban League of San Diego County provides homeownership counseling services to program buyers, which could provide each family with up to $ 70,000.

Payton, the foundation’s impact and partnerships manager, said the initial money is expected to help at least 35 black families buy homes in the program’s first year. She said there is optimism that the program can grow steadily.

“We recognize that we are not going to transform lives in an instant,” she said Wednesday.

The program is part of a four-pronged effort launched last fall by the foundation following nationwide racial justice protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd, a black man, by a Minneapolis police officer.

“We looked like the rest of the country and we were like ‘what can we do locally?’ She said.

In addition to the Homeownership Program, the foundation coordinates efforts to boost black education, improve employment opportunities, and encourage entrepreneurial activity.

The four-pronged effort, called the Black Community Investment Fund, was created in partnership with the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.

Money from the foundation and LISC San Diego will cover approximately $ 40,000 per home purchase, to cover part of a down payment or closing costs.

The other help will come from participating financial institutions as mortgage lenders and lenders, who will contribute at least $ 9,000 and help homebuyers obtain matching grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

To be eligible, applicants must be black or African American, live in the county, be a first-time buyer, and have a household income below 120% of the region’s median income.

The median of the area the income is $ 95,100.

There is no repayment requirement and the grants are not subject to federal taxes.

The house to be purchased must be in the county. If the household income is more than 80 percent of the median income for the area, there are restrictions on the location of the house.

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