Cerita Battles
Cerita Battles, SVP, Head of Retail Diverse Segments, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

It’s indeed an honor for Wells Fargo to be the title sponsor of the Washington Infomer’s Homeownership Month supplement.  We are proud to partner with this wonderful community newspaper on this effort to share information about owning a home.

We are into another homebuying season and I’m excited that the outlook for homeownership is positive.  Among Americans the desire to own a home remains strong and many are taking that journey to homeownership. In fact, a Wells Fargo Securities housing report notes that the Census Bureau’s Vacancy survey shows that 1.2 million households have been formed over the past year. And for the first time since 2006, the growth in the number of homeowner households has eclipsed the number of rental households.

African-American aspiring homeowners are important to the future of homeownership in this country.  According to the 2010 Census Bureau, of the 14 million new households expected by 2024, 75 percent of those will be diverse and African-Americans will be the third largest demographic at 17 percent.

However, the current homeownership rate for African-Americans is about 42 percent and the lowest among ethnic minorities. That needs to change. Wells Fargo is proud to be the top lender to African-Americans and feel it’s important that we take a leadership role in increasing homeownership among this demographic.  Our commitment, announced in February 2017, does just that. There are three components to this 10 year commitment: $60 billion in home purchase lending to African-Americans, an increase in our African-American sales force and $15 million toward initiatives focused on homebuyer education and counseling.  We are excited about this initiative and hope other lenders will join us in the important work of raising the African-American homeownership rate.

Our commitment to increase African-American homeownership is part of Wells Fargo’s overall Advancing Homeownerships effort, which brings together people, partners and resources to create new opportunities for long-term, successful homeownership.  In addition to the African-American lending commitment, this effort includes programs like Neighborhood LIFTs, which helps low-to-moderate income families achieve homeownership with homebuyer education and downpayment assistance.

Homeownership is a source of pride and is considered essential to building wealth and a solid family foundation. Therefore, as the nations’ leading mortgage lender, Wells Fargo wants to be there to support and guide our customers through the process of reaching the goal of owning a home.

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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