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Release date: 7/12/2022
NeighborWorks America Media
NeighborWorks America's annual survey identifies increased need for financial guidance and homeownership education, widening homeownership gap
More people want to buy a home but worry their money won’t last and less than 50% of Black and Hispanic/Latinx adults own homes
Washington, D.C. — The results of the newly released annual Housing and Financial Capability Survey
from NeighborWorks America reveal that a significant and growing share of the American public place value on owning a home (61%) but believe their financial situation is an obstacle to making progress toward longer-term financial and housing stability. The survey shows that people are saving more but keeping up with everyday expenses and concern that their money won't last (60%) is causing people to believe homeownership is out of reach. People are exploring shared living, moving in with others, renting inside of larger homes and foregoing individual home ownership. That said, those same people still find great value in the idea of home ownership and what it might mean for their lives. More than half of Americans say homeownership is more important now than it was a few years ago (53%), but they need more financial guidance and information about the homebuying process in order to become homeowners (56%).
Despite continued efforts, it's important to note that the disparities in homeownership that existed in the 1960s still exist. Among minorities, there is a growing disparity with Black households at 42% and Hispanic/Latinx households at 46% holding steady as the lowest percentage of American homeowners.
NeighborWorks America produces the survey because it helps to keep the issues of ownership, affordability and equity front and center, while helping to frame the work that we have been doing for nearly 45 years. Our goal in helping communities thrive centers on homeownership, because history has shown us it is vital to building and sustaining communities and neighborhoods. NeighborWorks America's experience also shows us that homeownership is vital to closing the racial wealth gap and building generational wealth. We know sustainable homeownership is possible with the right planning, guidance, and resources. For low- to moderate-income families, the lack thereof can slow or stifle their access to homeownership. In 2021, NeighborWorks America created 22,000 new homeowners.
"Our focus is on making homeownership education and financial guidance/coaching accessible to people," said NeighborWorks America's Senior Vice President of National Initiatives, Lee Anne Adams
. "With the help of our network, we can help people change the trajectory of their lives and support them as they navigate the homebuying process. Nobody has to go it alone. Our Housing and Financial Capability Survey helps us understand who needs our help and in what help is needed."
In these challenging, post-pandemic times, roughly a third of Americans are looking for a new place to live, and more are increasingly interested in owning their own homes (53%). Those surveyed expressed a soaring increase (69% v. 58% last year) in wanting more information about homebuying and financial guidance (56% want to take a financial planning class) in what they said is a much harder market to navigate.
The survey also found the top-ranking financial concern for most Americans is keeping up with everyday expenses (46%). The good news is that more people are saving. However, people are concerned that their money won't last (60%), and they need more financial guidance around basic financial resources such as acquiring and using credit cards (52%). This is especially true for Black, Native American and lower-income individuals. Reasons range from lack of trust or information to tangible obstacles like rejections or lack of nearby banks. Eighty percent of Native American people surveyed don't believe a bank or credit union will approve them for homeownership.
"The role of our network of nonprofit organizations and partnerships and the resources we provide are absolutely vital right now,” said Adams. We have housing counselors, information about down payment assistance, and courses on financial planning and debt reduction – these resources can make the difference between people achieving their homeownership goals or giving up. We don't want people to give up on their homeownership dreams.
To review the full survey findings and learn more about the work NeighborWorks America is doing to build and strengthen communities, please visit the Housing and Financial Capability Survey page
. To schedule an interview with Lee Anne Adams or other NeighborWorks experts, contact NeighborWorks media
About NeighborWorks America
For more than 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., a national, nonpartisan nonprofit known as NeighborWorks America, has strived to make every community a place of opportunity. Our network of excellence includes nearly 250 members in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks America offers grant funding, peer exchange, technical assistance, evaluation tools, and access to training as the nation's leading trainer of housing and community development professionals. NeighborWorks network organizations provide residents in their communities with affordable homes, owned and rented; financial counseling and coaching; community building through resident engagement; and collaboration in the areas of health, employment, and education.