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Saving Home Ownership and Building Wealth in African American Communities

WHEREAS, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) fights for economic fairness and economic equality as one of its core initiatives; and

WHEREAS, to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens is a key provision in the United States Constitution and is part of NAACP core values; and

WHEREAS, historically, home ownership is one of the primary means for people to build equity and wealth; it is also, sadly, an area in which racial and ethnic minorities have been and continue to be disproportionately discriminated against; and

WHEREAS, racial segregation in housing virtually assures segregation in school, recreation, community facilities, and severely limits access to new job opportunities; and

WHEREAS, racial targeting from disproportionately steering African Americans and other people of color into unsustainable loans and stripping them of potential wealth will impact African American families and communities for generations; and

WHEREAS, in large part due to the bursting of the housing bubble it has been estimated that African Americans between the years of 2005 to 2009 have lost-over 50% of their wealth and now have only 5% of the wealth of white Americans - these factors are creating a scenario where African Americans and other low wealth Americans could be locked out of the housing market for the foreseeable future; and

WHEREAS, the door to homeownership for many African Americans and other people of color will be closed, if government intervention is not escalated.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on the Obama Administration and the Congress to continue to reform the financial industry and Wall Street by strengthening and adequately funding the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP develop a homeownership advocacy and policy initiative that helps resolve the current housing and foreclosure crisis and assist in charting a policy agenda that ensures future housing and wealth building for African Americans and other low to middle income people of color; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP fight to ensure federal lending programs that expedite responsible lending in African American and other communities of color and also require consumer education targeted to underĀ­ served communities and under-served minorities consumers on the topics of: pre-purchase and post-purchase homeownership education, financial literacy, budgeting, money management and credit, home preservation, mortgage foreclosure prevention services, and non-predatory mortgage lending services; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP advocates for policies that ensure: non-discriminatory lending, provide continued and increased funding for certified housing counseling, more assistance to help those persons devastated by the foreclosure crisis, that the federal government, banks, and financial institutions must increase mortgage principal reductions tied to current home values and increase efforts to end housing discrimination.

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