The Alliance Leads Discussion on Financial Education and Homeownership in Montgomery, Alabama

On October 22, The Alliance led an event in Montgomery, AL, where industry experts and community leaders gathered with more than 70 local home buyers and owners to discuss strengthening resources for those on the path to homeownership and best practices for safeguarding the equity built through homeownership.

The event kicked off with remarks from Colin Allen, executive director of The Alliance; Chris Searcy, Pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship; and Bill Green of the Douglass Leadership Institute.

Attendees enjoyed a keynote address from LaRese Purnell, author of “Financial Foundations,” as well as a panel discussion and Q&A on “Making Homeownership a Reality.” Panelists featured Cassandra Andrews of Chosen Realty; Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta members Deborah Hill and Kimberly Lumpkin of Synovus Bank, and Steve Stringer and Bill Renfroe of River Bank & Trust.

Throughout the conversation, these experts discussed the challenges first-time buyers face, wealth gaps affecting generations of Black families, and the solutions on the table to help improve equitable access to homeownership for all.

Homeownership is an investment in families, communities and the country. Yet, the path to homeownership today is riddled with roadblocks such as low supply, high home prices, competitive bidding and mortgage rates hovering close to 8%. These challenges create barriers to home buying, keeping hopeful millennial and Generation Z buyers on the sidelines. In fact, the median age of a first-time home buyer today is the highest it’s ever been, at 36 years old.

It’s never too early to prepare for the home buying journey, and our panelists discussed the steps every individual needs to know on the path to homeownership, including:

  • Saving for a downpayment
  • Creditworthiness and financial education
  • Questions to raise with realtors, lenders, underwriters and inspectors
  • Protecting your investment and building generational wealth

The Alliance is working to advance the solutions that will expand support for first-time buyers and improve access to homeownership in Alabama and throughout the country.

By expanding pre- and post-purchase consultation, we can provide more direct support to buyers during every step of the journey, from compiling savings to securing homeowners insurance. Next, implementing alternative credit modeling that’s not based solely on credit scores will strengthen equitable access to mortgage loans and set buyers up for financial success. Lastly, developing downpayment assistance programs to help buyers secure an affordable property, and creating incentives for current owners to sell to first-time buyers, will help expand the marketplace.

Conversations at the event also touched on the importance of protecting homeownership long after one acquires the keys and is in the door. This includes developing an estate plan to ensure all assets and valuable items are managed, and that the next generation is set up for success. What’s more, Alabamians can further property owner protections in their state by advocating for an end to home equity theft, an unjust tax foreclosure policy that allows the government to take more than what is owed in taxes, interest and penalties when a homeowner falls behind on their property taxes.

The event in Montgomery is the fourth of its kind this year, followed by conversations in Dallas, Charlotte and Cleveland. Sign up to learn more about future events and stay up to date on the latest housing news and resources.

The Alliance is committed to helping individuals and communities throughout the country access the wealth-building benefits of homeownership. Stay tuned to see where we’re headed in 2024, and follow us on XLinkedIn and Facebook to keep up with our efforts and be the first to know about future events near you.


About the American Property Owners Alliance
The American Property Owners Alliance (The Alliance) is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization created to protect and support property owners and pave the way for future property owners. Our mission is to educate property owners about federal issues, laws and policies; to advocate for owners’ rights and interests; and to mobilize, when necessary, to secure those rights and interests.
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