Everyone deserves the opportunity to own a home.
However, longstanding inequitable housing policies systemically rooted in discrimination have compromised access to homeownership for Black residents.
To give you an idea what this looks like in Michigan, in 2019, 77% of White (non-Hispanic) households owned their homes, compared to 43% of Black, 56% of Hispanic and Latino/a, 61% of Asian, and 61% of Native American and Alaska Native households.
The Michigan Statewide Housing Plan provides a snapshot about why this is, but more importantly outlines goals to enhance equity and racial justice and offers strategies to address barriers that have kept low-to moderate-income individuals and families from becoming homeowners in Michigan.
This includes collecting and analyzing homeownership data, continuing to advocate and provide resources for the populations facing inequity, and creating regional work groups to address community specific needs. Raising awareness and amplifying community voices is an important part of making a change to the systems that have historically prevented marginalized populations from becoming homeowners, and this support and recognition leads to actionable steps that drive tangible change.
“A quality, affordable home is the foundation for every Michigander to reach their full potential. While no two communities or personal situations are exactly alike, our mission to ensure everyone has access to affordable housing is our guiding principle when identifying and removing common housing barriers,” said Tiffany King, equity and inclusion officer at MSHDA.
Alongside the work being done to identify ways to make housing in Michigan more fair, there is statewide support and funding available to help potential homebuyers who have found the down payment to be a barrier.
The MI 10K DPA loan offered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides $10,000 in down payment assistance and is available to residents in 236 Michigan zip codes — many in Detroit and surrounding communities. Residents living outside of the offered locations can still apply for help.
The MI DPA loan, offering up to $7,500 in down payment assistance, is available to eligible residents across the state.
For Michigan resident Charlin Logoan, the MI DPA loan was a game-changer. It provided the support she needed to become a homeowner after her husband’s death.
“I pushed the grief to the back, because I knew I wanted to still be a homeowner and get out of renting, so I moved on in here – I pushed forward,” Logoan said. “[My husband] is probably looking down on me right now, smiling. If there was no program like MSHDA, I would never have been able to own a home.”
Programs like the MI DPA loans push back against deep-rooted barriers to home ownership and turn the dream of owning a home into a reality for individuals whose housing options are limited by common financial hurdles.
While progress continues to be made against dismantling systemic inequities, it’s clear that there is still work to be done.
Honest conversations, financial support and education, and community engagement are the keys to creating and maintaining vibrant cities across Michigan and establishing a more equitable future in housing.