Bridging the Wealth Gap: 26th Annual Homeownership Fair Empowers Low-Income Communities
The 26th Annual Homeownership Fair, hosted by Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE), drew enthusiastic crowds this past weekend at Wilshire United Methodist Church. Lines wrapped around the venue as attendees sought to take the next steps in achieving their dreams of homeownership and building generational wealth.
By Philtrina Farquharson | Contributing Writer
Los Angeles, CA – The 26th Annual Homeownership Fair, hosted by Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE), drew enthusiastic crowds this past weekend at Wilshire United Methodist Church. Lines wrapped around the venue as attendees sought to take the next steps in achieving their dreams of homeownership and building generational wealth.
FACE, an organization dedicated to empowering individuals and communities, has a remarkable track record, having assisted over 16,000 homebuyers in realizing their dreams of homeownership. Through education and counseling, they have also provided homebuyers with more than $2.3 million in down payment assistance and other forms of support.
The program kicked off with a warm welcome from FACE President, Hyepin Im, followed by a compelling testimony from successful homebuyer Sequoia Tully, a young adult who has benefited from FACE’s homebuyer education classes and specialists.
Throughout the event, attendees had the chance to participate in seminars covering various homeownership topics, including “Rent vs. Buy: Home Build Wealth,” “Government Downpayment Assistance and Other Assistance Programs,” and “Understanding Credit Scores for Homebuying Preparation.”
In addition to the informative seminars, the fair featured exhibit booths showcasing a wealth of information about lender programs that aid with down payments, closing costs, and special loan products. Among the prominent institutions present were First Citizens Bank, US Bank, Bank of Hope, Bank of America, and City National Bank.
First Citizens Bank’s Mortgage Loan Officer, Zadia Egan, highlighted the bank’s commitment to supporting homebuyers. She emphasized the bank’s unique mortgage and loan programs, offering up to 100% financing. Through a $15,000 grant directly from the bank, buyers can receive up to $10,000 for down payment assistance, potentially allowing them to purchase a home with just a minimal initial investment.
DeLlora Ellis-Gant, President of the Los Angeles County African American Employees Association (LACAAEA) and booth, stressed the importance of African Americans having opportunities for homeownership. She expressed the organization’s focus on closing the wealth gap, especially for African American employees of Los Angeles County. Ellis-Gant pointed to the county’s anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion initiative, adopted unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in July 2020. The State of Black LA Report, released as a result of this initiative, reveals concerning disparities in homeownership, education, and health among the African American population. LACAAEA is committed to addressing these issues and empowering its members and their families.
Throughout the fair, FACE announced its commitment to continuing their mission of empowering communities through homeownership and financial education. They pledged to work closely with local organizations, governmental agencies, and financial institutions to expand access to affordable housing and enhance homeownership opportunities, particularly for underserved communities in the Los Angeles area. The fair left attendees feeling empowered and hopeful, equipped with newfound knowledge and the determination to bridge the wealth gap and break generational curses.
For more information about FACE and their homeownership initiatives, please visit their website at www.faceempowerment.org.