By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

On Thursday, December 10, at 11AM ET, the accomplished physician will join this reporter and National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., for a LIVE interview. The discussion will be streamed live over Facebook, Youtube (BlackPressUSA TV) and on 

The rising hospitalizations and deaths resulting from the coronavirus pandemic have brought bad news to just about everyone. But no single group has felt the pain more than African Americans, who make up a large portion of the more than 276,000 virus-related deaths in the U.S.

Black people have also felt the brunt of the devastating pandemic’s financial fallout, including in the housing market.

Recently, Zillow, which is transforming the way people buy, sell and finance homes, launched a health safety initiative called “Move Forward. Stay Safe,” to protect customers, employees, and partners.

The company also tapped former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin as Zillow’s Health Advisor. 

The “Move Forward. Stay Safe,” program includes industry-leading health safety standards along with Zillow’s groundbreaking virtual technology, designed to protect its customers and give people the confidence to move safely. 

“I’ve dedicated my career to health and wellness. My role as Zillow’s health advisor is a continuation of my commitment to prevention and population health,” said Dr. Benjamin, who founded the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama.

Throughout her career, Dr. Benjamin remained active in medical organizations and advisory groups. 

Through recent research, Zillow found that, of the nearly 2 million U.S. renters who can take advantage of heightened telework options and could afford monthly payments on homes in less-expensive areas outside of their current metros, Black renters benefit far more than other renters. 

In large metro areas where typical starter home values are higher than they are nationally, Black renters are 29 percent more likely than other renters to buy their first home in a less expensive area because of the opportunity to work from home permanently.

“As people venture into the real estate market, it’s critical they have precise information and guidelines on how to stay safe during every part of their move,” Dr. Benjamin stated in a separate news release. “From listing to shopping, to closing documents, we must minimize risk and protect each other. I am pleased to join Zillow in its dedication to public health through this new initiative.”