(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced new efforts to help Black Washingtonians prepare for homeownership, including a Black homeownership workshop and resource fair that will take place this Saturday, February 18 at 10:00 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The efforts will focus on connecting residents to the plethora of programs that exist in the District and understanding which programs will most benefit their journey to homeownership. During the event, the Mayor also awarded certificates to recent attendees of the Home Purchase Assistance Program pre-purchase orientation.
“We set an important goal: to add 20,000 Black homeowners by 2030. Now, we’re focused on making sure residents have the resources and support to find and complete their journey to homeownership,” said Mayor Bowser. “When disparities are created through intentional action and discrimination, we must be just as intentional about reversing those disparities. And that is what we are doing with homeownership in DC. Homeownership is a path to generational wealth, it is stability, and it allows you to bet on yourself, your family, and your future.”
Prospective homeowners and current homeowners are invited to attend Saturday’s workshop and resource fair on Black Homeownership at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The event will be hosted by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB), and the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs and will include opportunities to speak with financial counselors, realtors, home appraisers, and other real estate professionals. The workshop has been designed to help people at different points in their homeownership journey. The Black Homeownership workshop will show District residents how to access District resources to start or continue their homeownership journey in the District, including:
- Financially Fit DC: Offers financial education tools and resources to help residents take control of everyday finances and reach long-term goals like homeownership.
- Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP): Provides interest-free loans and closing cost assistance of up to $202,000 to qualified applicants to purchase single family houses, condominiums, or cooperative units in the District.
“Mayor Bowser’s vision for all residents to have a Fair Shot includes taking steps to becoming a District homeowner,” said DISB Commissioner Karima M. Woods. “If you are planning to buy a home in the District, don’t miss the Get Ready DC Black Homeownership Event this Saturday to learn how programs like DISB’s Financially FIT DC and Opportunity Accounts can prepare you financially.”
Mayor Bowser also announced a new Black Homeownership Marketing Campaign, and a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the company managing the campaign will open at the end of February. Experienced firms can submit a proposal for developing a strategic advertising campaign to market the District’s homebuying programs. The goal is to help more Black residents understand that homeownership is within reach and that the District has tools to help residents achieve their homeownership goals.
“For every family that comes to a workshop and utilizes DC’s homeownership tools, that’s one more family that will call DC home for decades and will create generational wealth,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “What our housing agencies partners are offering is not simply a course and a certificate, but a fair shot and a pathway to the middle class and beyond.”
The Mayor also announced the release of the Heirs Property Legal Service Request for Applications (RFA) and the opening of applications to the Residential Accessory Apartment Program (RAAP) in March. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has selected the Roz Company to administer the RAAP program. Applications to the program will open on February 28 and interested residential properties owners should visit dhcd.dc.gov/raap to apply.
“Homeownership is a journey, and the District of Columbia will be with our residents every step of the way,” said DHCD Acting Director Colleen Green. “I’m excited to further two programs today that will help existing homeowners take full advantage of their greatest assets today and for generations to come.”
Last year, Mayor Bowser launched the Black Homeownership Strike Force to address decades of racially discriminatory policies and practices which hampered access to one of the most significant ways to build wealth for Black residents, which is homeownership. In DC, approximately 34% of Black residents own their homes versus nearly 49% of white residents. The Strike Force, made up of government and non-governmental entities, published a report with 10 recommendations, and the Mayor set a goal 20,000 additional Black DC resident homeowners by 2030. To read the full report, visit BlackHome.dc.gov.
“Today Mayor Bowser is speaking to our future by addressing our history,” said Director of African American Strategic Engagement Reverend Thomas Bowen. “A history where many qualified Black residents were denied loans because of discriminatory policies and practices. Our future is one where we make sure that Black residents have the information, resources, and support needed to become homeowners and build wealth. This is how we choose to celebrate Black History Month.”
Register for Saturday’s Black Homeownership Workshop.
To learn more about the Black Homeownership Workshop Series and other housing resources, visit frontdoor.dc.gov