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Press Release

Release date: 6/16/2021

NeighborWorks America Media

Despite financial setbacks, Americans' interest in homeownership remains high 

New survey highlights obstacles facing households during COVID-19, challenges on the road to Black homeownership
Marietta Rodriguez, President & CEO of NeighborWorks America, available for broadcast interviews
What: Despite a year of financial challenges and setbacks, roughly one-in-three Americans is looking for a new home, according to a new survey from NeighborWorks America. More than half of those surveyed say they've experienced a financial emergency or major unexpected expense, and 30% experienced a negative financial impact due to COVID-19. And despite high interest, Black non-homeowners say they are facing financial challenges on the road to homeownership. 

However, the survey found that many Americans are still looking for a new place. It also found non-homeowners are interested in guidance and information to help move toward homeownership.

NeighborWorks America President & CEO Marietta Rodriguez can discuss the 2021 Housing and Financial Capability Survey findings, the major barriers that many Americans face include paying down debt and saving for future expenses, and the obstacles that Black households face, despite the widespread interest in owning their own homes.

Some notable findings in the survey include:
  • Unexpected financial challenges are a fact of life for many Americans.
    • Fifty-eight percent have experienced a financial emergency or major unexpected expense.
    • Thirty percent experienced a negative financial impact due to COVID-19 in the past year (lost wages, lost a job, spent savings to take care of COVID needs, etc.)
    • Seventy-three percent of those who have experienced a financial setback due to the pandemic say it will take 6 months or more to recover, with 46% reporting it will take a year or more.
  • The homeownership rate is much lower for Black households than Americans overall.
    • Twenty-eight percent of Black non-homeowners are more often actively looking for a place to live.
    • Despite interest, Black non-homeowners face important credit obstacles. Forty-three percent have had financial applications denied because of credit.
    • Sixty-three percent believe that their credit would not be approved for homeownership.
  • Thirty-six percent of respondents are looking for a new place to live and 50% are interested in financial planning classes.
    • Sixty-seven percent of Asian adults and 66% of Black adults are interested in learning more to improve their financial situations.
    • Fifty-nine of non-homeowners are likely to seek out information on homeownership within 1-2 years.
Who: Marietta Rodriguez, NeighborWorks America President & CEO

When: Thursday, June 24, 2021, from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET

Note to producers, editors and hosts: To schedule interviews, please contact

About Marietta Rodriguez
NeighborWorks America President & CEO Marietta RodriguezAs president and chief executive officer, Marietta Rodriguez works with senior executives and nationally renowned experts to leverage the power of public-private partnerships. She has a proven record of leadership and accomplishment, creating and executing strategic initiatives that address some of the toughest challenges facing low-income families: homeownership, foreclosure prevention, community building and engagement.
Rodriguez is responsible for leading NeighborWorks America's programmatic support to its nearly 250 member organizations and nonprofit partners. Whether capacity building, technical assistance, grant management or relationship management, she has met or exceeded metrics for success while developing and mentoring her staff at all levels. 

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.

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