National Real Estate Brokers bring 60-city Building Black Wealth Tour to Birmingham, Alabama

The main generator of wealth creation in the United States is homeownership, according to the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. The group's Building Black Wealth Tour, featuring information about homeownership and other wealth creation opportunities, will visit Birmingham in November. (contributed)

By: Barnett Wright Alabama NewsCenter

A tour to empower African American communities with steps toward homeownership, property investment, and other wealth-building opportunities will be coming to Birmingham in November.

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) Building Black Wealth Tour will stop in the city Nov. 11.

The 60-city tour will focus on homeownership and other real estate opportunities. NAREB was formed in 1947 to secure equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed or color.

Justin Williams, president of the Birmingham Realtist Association, which is under NAREB, said it is important for Blacks to become homeowners because “the main generator of wealth creation in the United States is homeownership. So, when Black people don’t participate [in homeownership]and become a homeowner, they lose the opportunity to use the main source of wealth creation. … Studies show that a homeowner has a 40 times greater net worth than renting.”

The Birmingham Realtist Association is hosting the national Building Black Wealth Summit at the New Rising Star Missionary Baptist (The Star), 7400 London Ave. NAREB’s president, Courtney Johnson-Rose, was intentional about hosting the summit in Alabama because of the national organization’s relationship with African American mayors, Williams said.

“All of the cities in the United States that have African American mayors, our organization has a direct relationship with them,” he said. “So, our Mayor Randall Woodfin’s initiative around homeownership and affordable housing” was a factor to host the tour.

Working with the African American Mayors Association and the National Bar Association, NAREB will sponsor the events in cities nationwide over the next two years.

The tour will include classes, workshops and one-on-one counseling on homebuying, investing, credit, and careers in real estate.

“The time for action on Black wealth is now,” Johnson-Rose said. “NAREB is urging our Black communities to take the journey toward wealth. Come to our events in your city and learn what you need to purchase a home. We are helping Black families overcome the biased public policies and private practices that created the vast wealth gap in America today.”

Johnson-Rose noted that the Federal Reserve says, on average, Black families own about 24 cents for every $1 of white family wealth. Homeownership, a critical component of Black wealth, declined for Blacks every quarter since the pandemic, leaving Blacks with the lowest percentage of homeowners in America.

Despite the contributions of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, 55 years later, the racial homeownership gap has widened. In 1960, 38% of Blacks owned homes, while white homeownership was 65%, a 27-point gap. Today, the gap is nearly 30%, the most extensive spread since 1890.

“The Black community has lacked the resources of other communities, and our goal is to end disparities and help Black communities thrive,” Johnson-Rose said. “The Building Black Wealth Tour will provide critical data, information, and advice to community members. We will ensure that community members know about homeownership opportunities, heirs and estate property, and real estate investing. And cutting-edge tools that can help them take the next step.”

NAREB has advocated for legislation and supported or instigated legal challenges that ensure fair housing, sustainable homeownership, and access to credit for Black Americans. For more about NAREB, click here.

This story originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.

Republished with the permission of The Alabama NewsCenter.