DC Churches Provide Access to Homeownership Among Black Residents

A group of DC churches is breaking down barriers to homeownership within the black community by providing residents with resources that will help close the wealth gap across the city.

This report is part of the WTOP coverage of Black History Month. Read more stories on WTOP.com here.

A group of DC churches is breaking down barriers to homeownership within the black community by providing residents with resources that will help close the wealth gap across the city.

The Washington Interfaith Network, a coalition of 50 DC churches, launched the Building Black Equity and Wealth Through Homeownership initiative.

The program tracks access to public land and government funding while educating prospective homeowners. To date, the Interfaith Network has placed 176 families in homes over the past decade, a mission that creates stability and reduces violence.

Celeste Bryant, co-chair of the latest initiative, is working with Rev. William Lamar of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church to make these resources available to more residents affected by rising housing costs.

“Needs in the district are not dissimilar to needs across the country,” Bryant said. “It is important that we see what we can achieve with this program and start working on it very systematically.”

The network has recently started holding focus groups to better address community needs.

Imani Hutchinson, a graduate student studying housing inequality at Howard University, is helping organize this effort but said she never saw herself as a homeowner until her involvement with Bryant.

“I never even thought about buying a house,” Hutchinson said. “This program would allow us in the community to harness more power.”

For Bryant, the goal now is to listen to the needs of the community while also offering workshops on the home buying process to provide meaningful access alongside lasting change.

“Justice plays a very important role in helping people survive,” Bryant said.

The next listening session will take place on March 20th. Learn more at the Washington Interfaith Network website.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to exchange views on this and other articles.

Receive breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by subscribing here.

© 2022 WTOP. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users within the European Economic Area.

Comments are closed.