by Frederick H. Lowe
The National Bankers Association is tackling declining black homeownership during the organization’s three-day convention which began Monday in Savannah, Georgia.
The conference’s theme is, “Promoting sustainable home ownership within in communities of color.” In addition to studying declining black homeownership, NBA will also study declining homeownership among Hispanics.
The Washington, D.C.-based NBA also announced that Vantage Score 3.0, a subsidiary of credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax and Trans Union, will seek to partner with minority banks to convince Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were created by Congress, to accept a credit scoring model other than Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO).
Vantage Score officials argue a partnership would make “millions of consumers worthy of credit consideration who are presently locked out if FICO retains its unchallenged position of dominance within the credit –scoring space.”
The association has assembled industry leaders in public and private sectors. They will address the impediments to home ownership and propose solutions to reversing the trend.
The African-American home ownership rate in 2015’s second quarter– the percentage of occupied housing units owned by African Americans— was 43% compared to 71.6% for whites and 45.4 % for Hispanics who can be of any race, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The highest African-American homeownership rate, according to the U.S. Census, occurred in the 2005’s first quarter when it reached 48.8 %.
Thomas Curry, U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, will hold an informal discussion with NBA bank members. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Bank, U.S. Small Business Administration, Fannie Mae, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund will participate in the conference.
However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not respond to NBA’s invitation.
This is the 88th annual convention for the NBA, which was founded in 1927 as the Negro Bankers Association before changing its name in 1948. The conference ends October 7.