The Ferguson Neighborhood Empowerment Summit will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ferguson Community Center, 1050 Smith Avenue.
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, in partnership with Community Forward, Inc. (CFI), the St. Louis County Community Action Agency (CAASTLC), and the Forestwood Community Development Corporation, will host the event.
“The best landlord is a healthy landlord, that’s a theme of the summit, and that’s one reason Urban League provides health resources in the same space with housing resources. COVID-19 testing as well as other health care screenings will be provided to attendees.”
The Summit promotes neighborhood improvement through home ownership and home improvements, and targets potential buyers and existing homeowners.
Suppliers representing the financial, real estate and other sectors will provide information on the home buying process and facilitate access to various loan products.
Grants, forgivable loans and workshops related to minor home repairs will be offered to existing homeowners.
Black home ownership, at 43.4%, remains lower than it was a decade ago. And that’s nearly 30 percentage points behind the white homeownership rate of 72.1%, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The Hispanic homeownership rate is at an all-time high, reaching over 50% for the first time, and the Asian homeownership rate is at 61.7%.
“Today, homeownership is the primary source of wealth creation for most American households,” Marcia L. Fudge, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said in a May 2022 statement. .
“Unfortunately, the NAR report confirms that black Americans are being excluded from homeownership opportunities at an even higher rate than a decade ago.”
According to NAR, Black and Hispanic Americans report being rejected for mortgages at a higher rate than their White and Asian peers and Black Americans report a higher incidence of discrimination in a real estate transaction.
Black households are also the most likely of all buyer groups to be weighed down by student loan debt, which can prevent potential buyers from saving for a down payment. The 41% of black households with student debt is more than double that of Asian households at 18% and nearly double that of white households at 22%, while 26% of Hispanic households have student debt.
Summit sessions will include Protecting Your Financial Future; Organization of neighborhood land and real estate planning; Minor home repairs; and weatherization of your home.
Participants will have the opportunity to win door prizes.