Home ownership is a dream that just about every family strives for and works hard to make a reality. For many Canadians home ownership may seem out of reach given the current state of the economy and the exploding house prices in many of the country’s city centres and suburbs. The data shows that homeownership is even more challenging for racialized communities and the black community in particular. For example, in Toronto the average income of white residents is 60% greater than racialized communities. Average Canadian employment income ratios – White compared to Racialized workers is 1.0 : 0.93, White compared to Black workers is 1.0 : 0.74 (2015).
The home is typically a family’s most-valuable asset enabling generations to build equity that may be used to start businesses, support children’s post- secondary education, provide for retirement and wealth transfer to the next generation. The data shows that the black community has been left behind – the BNI Homeownership Bridge Program aims to make home ownership a reality for more black families. The Whitby Chamber of Commerce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee was pleased to connect with the team from the Black North Initiative to learn about their new Homeownership Bridge Program.
The Black North Initiative was founded by Wes Hall in 2020, who is also the executive chairman and founder of Kingsdale Advisors and featured investor on the popular TV show, Dragons’ Den. The Black North Initiative was created in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the BLM movement which triggered a racial awakening around the world. Hall founded the Black North Initiative with the mission to end anti-Black systemic racism in the corporate world (and beyond). The Black North Initiative Homeownership Bridge Program is one of the organization’s newest programs, launched in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Dream Legacy Foundation. The program provides an affordable option that enables Black families to thrive by building financial security, stability, and the opportunity to make life better for generations to come.
The Program has created a fund that leverages partnerships with BNI, Government, Banks/ credit
unions, Real Estate Developers and Philanthropists to facilitate homeownership through a second
mortgage. Funds raised will be consolidated and used to bridge the gap between an affordable
mortgage and real estate prices.
Here’s how it works:
Approved families will receive support to purchase a home with no down payment utilizing a
- The first mortgage is supplied by a conventional lender, such as a bank or credit union and is
provided at market interest rates.
- The second silent mortgage is provided by BNI Homeownership Bridge Program and its partners and is the difference between the purchase price of the home and the first mortgage. Families will
begin paying this second mortgage after the first mortgage is paid in full.
For more information on the BNI Homeownership Bridge Program including how to apply,
partner or donate visit BNI Homeownership Bridge Program or meet with representatives at the Whitby Chamber of Commerce Black History Month 2023 event.
Tricia Williams, Managing Partner & Client Success Leader, geekspeak Commerce