|Congressional Black Caucus WOW Program|
In 2001, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) launched “With Ownership, Wealth” (WOW) to promote African American homeownership and to add 1 million African American homeowners by 2005. African American homeownership continues to lag behind the rates of majority populations. Despite the fact that minority homeownership grew four times faster than for whites in the 1990s, the African American homeownership rate is still only 46.7 percent, lagging far behind the 73 percent rate for white families and 67 percent for the nation as a whole.
A number of trade associations, community based organizations and housing and financial services companies have joined the CBCF in the WOW initiative as partners, pledging action to achieve the goal of 1 million new African American homeowners. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® is an original partner in the WOW and has pledged to:
- Advocate public policies to expand homeownership opportunities.
Promote to the public the need for increased minority homeownership through the HOPE Awards.
- Increase awareness among REALTORS® regarding programs which expand housing opportunities such as the Section 8 homeownership program.
- Educating REALTORS® about expanding their marketing to African American and other minority communities through the At Home with Diversity® course.
- Encouraging local and state REALTOR® associations to participate in and partner with local WOW efforts.
The WOW program focuses on outreach to the African American community through homeownership fairs; African American radio and newspaper media campaigns; community-based partnerships that involve various parties; seminars for potential home buyers; one-on-one credit counseling service; access to city and state funds for down payment and closing cost assistance; and in-depth information about the best mortgage financing options available through the participating lenders and their affiliates.