Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge met with a number of Black leaders from across the country to discuss closing the racial wealth gap and increasing access to homeownership in African American communities, the agency said Wednesday.

The leaders represented nonprofit, corporate, and philanthropic organizations that have ongoing projects that deal with Black communities and the issue of affordable housing.

“We know that the housing system was designed with race-based inequity structures, so having discussions about ways of building generational wealth is essential,” Fudge said. “We are at a critical juncture in this country today and it’s important for public and private sectors to work together to improve the lives of those living in minority communities so that these communities have the opportunity to thrive.”

The meeting was co-hosted by Michael Hyter, president and CEO of the Executive Leadership Council. The discussion centered on current funding and programmatic priorities that each organization, including HUD, is implementing.

“It is our responsibility and obligation to use our knowledge and experience to explore ways to address obstacles to homeownership and generational wealth creation for an unacceptably high portion of the Black community,” Hyter said. “The ELC looks forward to working with Secretary Fudge and her team to help tell the story around the imperative of homeownership as a path to wealth creation and why it is critical to the sustainability and longevity of the Black community.”

Fudge and the leaders drafted a call to action composed of commitments related to strategic partnerships focused on measurable outcomes. The commitments include investing in affirming advertisements for Black homeownership, better-channeling resources to communities, and ensuring another meeting between the secretary and the leaders occurs in the future.

In addition to Hyter, Fudge met with leaders including Thasundra Brown Duckett, president and CEO of TIAA; John Rogers Jr., chairman and co-CEO of Ariel Investments; Denise Scott, president, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Angela Williams, president and CEO, United Way Worldwide; Tacoma, Washington, Mayor Victoria Woodard, president of the National League of Cities; and Marcia Griffin, CEO and founder, HomeFree-USA.

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