Wealth Through Homeownership – The American Dream

• America’s huge middle class is largely due to finance reforms that followed the financial market collapse known as the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
• These reforms shaped housing financing products, government housing agencies and government policies that subsidized and promoted homeownership.
• Thanks to this concerted effort, by 2004 over 74% of white American families owned their own home.
• Home ownership and home building in turn contributed substantially to the economic stability of our country.
• Unfortunately, home ownership gains were not evenly distributed to all sectors of society.
• Due to blatant discrimination, redlining by government, financial institutions, realtors and brokers, the homeownership rate for non-white families was a little over one half that of white families during that same period.
• The practice of denying financial services to certain neighborhoods based on racial or ethnic composition has denied people of color access to wealth accumulation and power, security and respect that homeownership provides.

The Great Recession of 2008

• The deregulation of financial institutions in the late 1990’s changed market practices for the worse and resulted in the great recession 
• The Great Recession of 2008 resulted in 9 million plus foreclosures & 8.4 million loss of jobs, and disproportionately impacted people of color
• During this period the foreclosure rate for Latinos was 240% higher than that of whites and for African Americans it was 160% higher
• Most disturbing was the loss of wealth for people of color, the Latino community lost $177 billion in assets while the African American community lost $194 billion
• Racial wealth gap gets worse during the Great Recession as the collective wealth of these two communities, that took 60 years to accumulate, was lost in a span of just over two years.

The Two Hundred is organized as an advocacy project of the California Community Builders, a non-profit organization

• Homeownership is The Two Hundred’s top priority and it concurrently supports affordable housing and ending homelessness
• Originally founded as The 100 (leaders), founders convened meeting with Federal Reserve Bank in 2011 to discuss impediments to homeownership
• Grassroots conferences in Oakland, Fresno, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles has increased membership to 800 plus
• YIMBYs (statewide organization) and university student activists join The 200 to form M&MS (Minorities Millennials & Students)
• Federal Government is architect of redlining and banks execute discriminatory plans
• CEQA and other regulations are the “new” redlining
• Federal & CA State governments now favor rentals over homeownership for people of color and others

California’s housing crisis – now the state’s most critical issue

• Under building by as many as 75,000 housing units per year since 2006 is the primary reason for the crisis
• Regulatory obstacles and excessive fees obstruct housing production
• New housing starts not keeping pace with new jobs
• Homeownership opportunities close to jobs are nearly impossible for working families & millennials 
• Millennials increasingly aspire homeownership but face major obstacles
• Homebuyers are misinformed about size of down-payment: 33% believe required down-payment is 20-30% and 40% believe over 30% is required
• Down-payment & mortgage loans are not the big obstacles following the Great Recession 
• Government continues to favor rentals over homeownership
• Poor and working class are pushed out of the State of California
• Excessively high rents, stemming from lack of housing supply, contribute to homeless crisis

The Two Hundred believes and fights for homeownership

• Increased homeownership will close the racial wealth gap among people of color
• Communities are stabilized through increased homeownership
• Homeownership contributes to improved health outcomes and children’s educational attainment
• Employers can retain and recruit employees through increased homeownership opportunities
• Homeownership increases tax base and strengthens California economy

Practical public/private homeownership solutions are promoted by The Two Hundred

• Advocates for production of affordable market rate single-family homes, condos and owner-occupied duplex, triplex & fourplex units
• Infill affordable market rate housing units can be financed through a public/private revolving loan fund
• The Two Hundred advocates for increased funding of CalHFA’s down-payment assistance and mortgage loans and publicizing CalHFA programs
• The Two Hundred enters the legislative arena in 2017 & 2018
• Convenes first Community Priority Housing Legislative Session in 2017 to prioritize support of housing bills with homeownership features
• Defeats legislation (AB 199) that would have increased cost of housing for all Californians
• Introduces legislation in 2018 to reform CEQA and Construction Defect
• Opposes, successfully, repeal of state-wide rent control that would have exacerbated housing crisis
• Proposed legislation by The Two Hundred includes regulatory relief, production of in-fill homes and affordable condos and up zoning to build more homes
• The Two Hundred will also support bills to improve production of ADUs (in-law units) and small homes and authorize use of public land for homeownership opportunities for low to moderate income families

The Two Hundred challenges discriminatory practices in court

• California Air Quality Board (CARB) harshly discriminates against people of color and The 200 files a lawsuit
• CARB’s focus on housing and transportation issues has adverse impact on people of color
• CARB ignores animal livestock, airplanes and other greenhouse gas polluting industries and wealthy persons large homes
• Mostly white environmental elitist constitutes CARB’s leadership that does not consider issues pertaining to people of color
• CARB is operating beyond its legislative mandate
• Lawsuit against CARB is making progress