Legacy Home Loans, one of the largest Black-led mortgage banking firms in America, has developed the new Special Purpose Credit Program for African Americans who are looking to become homeowners for the first time. Part of the program includes the “Closing the Gap” loan, which addresses the disproportionate rate of homeownership between White and Black Americans. (Photo by Kostiantyn Li on Unsplash)

By AFRO Staff

Legacy Home Loans, one of the leading Black-led mortgage firms in the country, recently announced a mortgage loan called “Closing the Gap.” The loan was created to assist Black Americans in becoming homeowners and will target those seeking loans in six major cities across the nation.

The Las Vegas-based company recently announced that the “Closing the Gap” loan will be offered in the hopes of closing the homeownership gap seen when comparing the number of White homeowners to the number of African-American homeowners in the country. The loan is part of the “Special Purpose Credit Program” (SPCP), a special initiative for Black people who are ready to purchase a property and in need of a mortgage.

Legacy announced that the program will be piloted in Charm City for Black Baltimoreans, and in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia to reach African Americans along the East Coast and Midwest.

“Borrowers must presently reside in a census tract of the six cities that [have] 51 percent or more Black population,” said the company in a press release distributed by President Ben Slayton. “However, there are absolutely no restrictions as to where home buyers can purchase their new home.”

The Closing the Gap loan comes with a one percent down payment and a free appraisal of the property. Participants will also receive a free home warranty, financial counseling, and help with closing costs on the home.

The program will work with borrowers using “credit guidelines based on factors such as timely rent, utility bills, phone, and auto insurance payments. The underwriting guidelines are based on the borrower’s income with a minimum credit score of 620,” according to information released by Legacy.  

“Currently, there is a 30 percent homeownership gap between Blacks and Whites, meaning only four out of every 10 Black families own the home that they live in,” according to the company’s announcement of the loan. “This is in contrast to seven out of every ten White families who own the home that they live in. Hence, the 30 percent homeownership gap.” 

The company has said that they are aiming to invest $1 billion into Black homeownership by the end of 2023 and “every year thereafter.”

Slayton said “there may be others coming out with similar SPCP loan programs, but don’t be fooled, Legacy Home Loans is where you are celebrated– not just tolerated.”

Slayton has long established himself as a leader in the African American community as the first African-American realtor in America, the first Century franchisee broker owner in America, and the first Freddie Mac Multifamily Program Plus seller/servicer in America. Slayton is a veteran in the real estate mortgage industry, and has founded, grown and sold several businesses over the years.

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