Illinois General Assembly to Consider Senate Resolution 170 in Efforts to Promote Micro Mortgages for Low-Income & Minority Illinoisans
In the fight for homeownership equality, nothing is more important than state and local legislators getting behind initiatives like AHP 75 to provide policy-making support, as well as to provide a larger platform for discussing the inequities within the mortgage lending system. For far too long, one of the most common ways low-income and minority Americans have been locked out of homeownership has been because of large banks’ disinterest in financing homes less than $75,000. This means homes in America’s most affordable communities, like these outlined in Chicago’s own Micro Market Recovery Plan, lack funding availability for its residents to purchase homes.
If large mortgage lenders refuse to make loans for these cheaper homes, the result is more often than not a corporate landlord swooping in to buy the place and turn it into a rental property, thereby removing yet another possible affordable home-for-purchase from a qualified and willing low-income buyer. Though many of these corporate (and even individual) landlords often sing their own praises for buying these homes, fixing them up, providing “affordable” housing, and staving off potential neighborhood blight, the truth is that many of their tenants are would-be buyers who subsequently become locked into a permanent cycle of renting, unable to put down roots in the communities where they reside.
In some cases, as with Chicago’s own notorious corporate landlord, Pangea, renters are all too often evicted over spurious claims—unable to navigate, afford, or understand the legal process—and are tarnished for years to come. For those who are evicted, it becomes nearly impossible to find another landlord willing to rent to them, which can result in living in housing with squalid conditions, or potentially even being rendered homeless.
And so, homeownership equality is one of the most important social justice causes of our time. Not only because fair and equitable housing is something all Americans should be entitled to access, should they desire, but also because the benefits of homeownership are vast and have generations-long impact on homeowners and their families.
Luckily, lawmakers like Illinois State Senator Robert Peters (D) have taken up the mantle in the fight for homeownership equality, thanks to the advocacy of initiatives like ours, as well as community leaders and organizations pushing for accessibility to micro mortgages—a cornerstone of AHP 75’s mission. Senator Peters, himself a Southside Chicago native, knows these issues from a personal perspective. A political and community organizer who has committed his professional life to criminal justice reform, as well as fair housing and education advocacy, his personal life gave him a bird’s-eye view into the realities of racial and economic inequalities and the effects these have on low-income and minority communities.
As the main sponsor of Senate Resolution 170 (SRO170), State Senator Peters has shown his commitment to housing equality for his 13th District constituents, and for Illinoisans overall. It would be a huge understatement to say that his efforts to address the issue of micro mortgage inaccessibility is one AHP 75 hopes will be modeled throughout the entire country.
We at AHP 75—along with our ally companies and Community Impact Real Estate Agents—applaud Senator Peters for his leadership in highlighting this quintessential aspect of the American Dream at the State Capitol, and for giving a wider audience to the importance of fair, equitable housing and access to home loans for low-income and minority Americans.
We join with Senator Peters in his calls for the Illinois Housing Development Authority to “promote homeownership of homes under $75,000” and “to establish a directory of lenders that originate micro mortgages,” as our ally company AHP Mortgage Direct is committed to originating both here in Illinois and throughout the entire nation (all 50 states and D.C. anticipated by end of 2021). With micro mortgages as low as $5,000 and up to $100,000, AHP 75 opens the door to the very potential homeowners that SRO170 seeks to reach.
We encourage all fellow Illinoisans who stand with us in our mission to increase homeownership to 75% for all Americans, regardless of race or income, to contact your state representative and express your support of this resolution. We are proud to be advocating on behalf of the solution to homeownership disparity throughout the entire nation.
Do you stand with us in our mission for homeownership equality? Visit AHP75.com to learn about our Community Impact Initiative for socially just real estate agents. Help us make a difference.
Aaron Morales is the Social Justice Writer for AHP 75, based out of Chicago, IL.