Green State Credit Union seeks to close housing deficit in Iowa

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Even today in Iowa, the disparity between homeownership for black and white Iowans is a start.

Three out of four white Iowans own a home; compare that to less than one in four black Iowas.

“Some people look at what you look like and deny you that opportunity,” NAACP President Dedric Doolin said.

Doolin said denying black people a loan or insurance isn’t a new issue, and it’s one that people in eastern Iowa still face.

“Realtors often don’t want to show people of color, especially black people, and homes to buy or rent,” he said.

The US Census Bureau said the homeownership rate for whites was 74%, more than triple that of black homeownership at 23%. This is the sixth highest margin in the country. Green State Credit Union wants to try to bridge that gap.

“Homeownership is such an advantageous way to create intergenerational wealth,” said Green State Chairman Jeff Disterhoft.

Disterhoft said he would specifically commit $1 billion for loans, aimed at people of color over the next 9 years. This was an extension of a pledge they made in 2021 to commit $500 million.

“I hope that’s a momentum to get people on board,” he said. “If we make $1 billion over the next 9 years, great, but that’s not going to cure all of our diseases in the state or region. We want that to be a springboard for other credit unions to get join us.

The process to qualify for this loan would be the same for anyone entering the door. It’s something Doolin said was the whole point of stopping the continued impact of redlining and other racist housing practices.

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