San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Council President pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe recently joined nonprofit and civic organizations to launch an expanded effort to help more people of color in the San Diego region become homeowners. Supported by a $7.5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, the grant was awarded to the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), part of the San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative.
Homeownership rates for many households of color are significantly lower than other racial groups. For example, an SDHC-commissioned Urban Institute study of City of San Diego households identified homeownership rates of 29.1% among Black households and 35.2% among Latino households, compared with 54.8% among white households.
The San Diego City-County Reinvestment Task Force (RTF) will lead the implementation of the San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative’s strategies throughout the San Diego region. SDHC provides staff support for RTF and administers first-time homebuyer programs for the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, and the cities of Chula Vista and El Cajon.
The grant to SDHC comes from Wells Fargo’s Wealth Opportunity Restored Through Homeownership (WORTH) initiative, a $60 million national effort to address systemic barriers to homeownership for people of color. San Diego is one of eight markets across the U.S. to receive a WORTH grant. SDHC and RTF are among the organizations in the San Diego Homeownership Equity Collaborative, which will work to help create an estimated 5,000 new homeowners of color in San Diego County by the end of 2025.
Services and resources for homebuyers of color are expected to be developed, such as credit counseling, down payment assistance, and homeownership navigators. These will expand on the resources that are currently available to help more first-time and first-generation homebuyers. A list of current resources that are available to potential homebuyers, which will be updated, is available on SDHC’s website at www.sdhc.org/homebuyerequity.