Kevan and Ritha Rowe’s journey to buying their own home was both long and very fast. Shortly after marrying in 2003, the Rowes thought about buying a home, but it was the height of the housing bubble that eventually burst and led to the Great Recession. In the time since, they started a family and pursued their personal finance goals.
“It’s funny because everyone makes fun of me because I like watching the news at mid-day and at night just to see what’s going on,” Ritha recounted. “I was watching the news and I saw [the Black Homebuyers Program] and I was like ‘we could do that.’”
From there, she reached out to Urban League of San Diego County to apply for the Black Homebuyers Program. Since her family had already gotten their finances in order and reduced their debt-to-income ratio, there were only a few steps left to complete the process, such as submitting bank statements and attending the Urban League’s homebuyer expo in August.
The goal of the Black Homebuyer Program is to improve the racial wealth gap in San Diego by investing in generational wealth-building opportunities through Black homeownership. Nationwide, the homeownership gap between Black families and white families has continued to grow in recent years. Currently in the U.S., only 42% of Black families own their homes, while 72% of white families own their homes. In San Diego, fewer than 30% of Black families own homes compared to 61% of white families.
The Black Homebuyer Program was founded and seed-funded by an initial pledge of $1 million by The San Diego Foundation’s Black Community Investment Fund, along with administrative funding from the County of San Diego, through the office of Board of Supervisors Chair, Nathan Fletcher. The program’s goal is to further wealth-building and to serve as a stabilizing force for family, community, health and self.
ABOUT THE BLACK COMMUNITY INVESTMENT FUND
The Black Community Investment Fund prioritizes and invests in community-led, innovative efforts that increase racial equity and generational wealth for Black San Diegans. The fund was co-founded by the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and The San Diego Foundation, and focuses on four key pillars: education, employment, entrepreneurship and housing. Learn more about the Black Community Investment Fund.
To read The San Diego Foundation's article, please click here.