When I was a little girl growing up in the late 1970’s early 1980’s, I lived in a neighborhood where everyone looked like me, went to the same local elementary school, and listened to the same Rev. Dr. preach every Sunday morning. There was a comfort seeing Miss Ethel sitting in her window everyday daring anyone to walk across her neatly manicured, emerald green lawn. And Ronnie, who wasn’t quite right in the head after serving in Vietnam, waxed that super slick Cadillac until it gleamed like gold. We jumped double-dutch, rode bikes and braided each other’s hair. We were a community, bound by real estate and culture.
But somewhere along my gleeful childhood, the tree lined streets of sweet content turned sour with junk cars and failing schools. Homes became fortresses, a barrier of sorts, between the crime on the streets and goings on of folks your parents did not want you to associate with. And so it began, the exodus of black families out of the cities and into the suburbs in hopes of a better quality of life. What I had come to know as a neighborhood and community became taint.
I remember driving for what seemed like an eternity to a place foreign and new. Through bends and turns and bridges and water, a housing development so sparkly and white surely the good Lord Jesus Himself must live there! No telephone poles. No parked cars on the street. Even the private security patrol car was white and glossy and new. My father beamed when we got out of the car in the driveway of our cookie cutter house, on a sliver lot, in a neighborhood of Ward and June Cleavers. My mother gushed at the opulence and prestige of our new home. At $79,995 it was a stretch financially for my parents but worth the sacrifice to provide a better life for me. But at what cost?
As an adult, I often drive by my old neighborhood. What was once a heart-filled black community is now an eclectic mix of tech employees, alternative lifestylers and hippy children who would rather die than drive gas cars. And my old house? Well, let’s just say that my brother’s horse head curtains are gone and the price, beyond the reach of modest means. The structures of my old neighborhood remain but the culture is lost. Not just the black culture but the aspirations of folks like me to reclaim our communities and own homes where our history lie.
Priced out. Home loan denied out. And prey to unscrupulous mortgage lenders who use high interest rates, extraordinary loan fees and unobtainable down payments as a means of locking us out of homeownership. The power of the black dollar is feeble against the systemic barriers we face in the mortgage process. Black out. White in. So when I heard about an organization that offered no down payment, no closing costs, no fees, below-market interest rates and character based credit consideration home loans, I thought that it was a scam. Too good to be true.
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, NACA, has the “Best in America Mortgage”. Truly, no down payment, no closing costs, no fees, below-market interest rates and perfect credit is not required home loans. Period. For over 30 years, NACA has fought for economic justice through homeownership and community action. With over 47 offices nationwide and 2 million members, NACA is the largest HUD certified counseling agency in the U.S. What’s the catch? You must provide documents. You must follow the NACA pre-qualification process which is tailored to your specific circumstances. In short, you must demonstrate sensible financial management and a willingness to accept free counseling on how to become NACA qualified. And the numbers don’t lie. NACA loans have a less than one percent (.0021%) foreclosure rate. That meansfolks that go through the process purchase and keep their homes. NACA has helped over 250,000 people save their homes during the recent housing crisis. HomeSave allowed people to modify their predatory mortgages often reducing their monthly mortgage payments. Yes, I’m serious. You can own a home. You can buy in black communities and beyond. You can create stability and legacy through homeownership. Let NACA help you achieve your dream of owning a home today. Don’t get pushed out. Buy and move back in!
Tina Tyler is a veteran broadcast news anchor/reporter. Tyler is the founder and CEO of TINA ON TECH where she serves as producer and host of the weekly syndicated podcast TINA ON TECH and Editor-in-Chief for the TINA ON TECH website. Tyler is also a contributing writer for Softonic.com. Tyler is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Tyler is the only African American female TV host, writer, producer, and owner of technology-themed content.