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Are We There Yet? Pushing for Equity…

By Rhonda McGill
April 9, 2021
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In my last blog, I shared some thoughts around Fair Lending Laws, as it applies to Equity and Equality. In that post, I shared that “unless we are all starting the race at the same starting point, the goal post can sometimes get moved and as a result (be it intentional or not), some can be unfairly left behind. Because of this, laws had to be created to level the playing field, with the intention of giving everyone a fair shake at equity, be it in the workplace, when trying to obtain credit, or when determining what community, they would like to call home.”

In the last few days, the Biden administration rolled out a $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan. Now, let’s be clear, I am in no way giving any political commentary (we can all agree that we get more than enough of that), but contained in the bill I noticed something that is relevant to a few of my recent posts about equity challenges faced by so many. In the plan, $213 billion was included to help with building, renovation, and retrofitting over 2 million residential properties. They point out the “severe shortage of affordable housing options” and their desire to correct this by passing the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, which will place $20 billion of those funds towards tax credits that could help with the building or rehabilitation of approximately 500,000 homes to give a boost for families to get started on the path of building generational wealth through homeownership. If passed, this would be huge for minorities who suffered a historical dip in homeownership compared to White Americans who saw a jump to 74.5%. Black Americans came in at 44.1% falling behind Asian, Native, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders at 59.5% and Hispanics at 49.1%.

Well as I said in the My Fair Lending! blog “Wouldn’t it be Loverly” (again, the “r” is not a typo!) to see underserved citizens have a place to call home... It goes without saying that if this happens, the “playing field,” may not be totally leveled, but it would surely earn a few fist bumps towards the goal and an opportunity for the housing industry to create even more opportunities for these individuals that seem to get left behind. 

Homeownership is what many consider to be their piece of the American dream, however for many, it is one that is not easy to reach because of that ever-moving goal post! I think about my parents, my Father served in the U.S. Army and went on to work for our local city government until his retirement. My Mother was a cosmetologist who worked for years at a local dry cleaner and then for the local city government until she too retired. When my sister and I were young, our parents moved our family from Chicago to Southeastern Michigan because they wanted us to have access to safe communities, access to a great education, and a chance at a better life (aka the American Dream). My parents were not rich, but they worked hard to provide us with the best. Even with that, the one thing that they wanted was a home of their own. My parents worked and saved until they were able to realize that dream, which did not happen until my Sophomore year of high school. I still remember the closing day and the pride we all felt. That pride stuck with me and by the time that our kids were in daycare, my husband and I had already purchased our first home. It is remarkable, but that pride still exists and my (now young adult) kids will likely go straight into homeownership before they even settle down and start a family. 

Generational wealth doesn't have to be handed down in dollars…it can be something as simple as passing down a wealth of knowledge. I wish that everyone who desires it will be able to feel that feeling… I know that it is why I chose to work in the nonprofit sector for over 14 years in Community Housing Development, educating first-time homeowners and rehabilitating homes for purchase. The best day was always closing day. To see a family that thought they would never own a home finally do it was so rewarding. I still get a smile on my face when I think about it, I’m sure that I always will.

My story is not unique in any way because we all have a story. Mine is based on my love for people and a passion to find solutions. Be it the first-time home buyer that needs to understand the mortgage process or the Marketer that needs to make sure that they have all of the proper disclosures on their creative, or the Compliance Professional that is seeking a solution to help them keep up with the speed of the business while trying to stay on top of regulatory changes… I live for it and am passionate about it. As our dear friend and recent inspirational keynote at our #COMPLYSummit Laura Brandao asks the guests on her podcast, “What is your Superpower”? To that, I would have to say finding Solutions is my “Superpower”…

What’s your Superpower? How are you making an impact on the outcome in your business? Do you wake up ready to make a difference in the lives of your clients? If not, what’s stopping you?

The Bottom Line 

Whether you wear a cape or a crown (or if you’re like me, you wear both!), I hope that you will all dig in to find it and put it in action, your clients deserve it and you owe it to yourself to feel that feeling each time you help them to succeed! Here at PerformLine, we are stepping up and doing just that, because we are invested in making sure that our clients understand that we are not just providing a platform, we are providing a partnership!

As always, we welcome your thoughts and your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear from you.

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Tags: Regulatory Compliance, Fair Lending

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