RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One family is a step closer to closing the Black homeownership gap thanks to Habitat for Humanity.

According to Stacker, despite the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 that outlawed housing discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and sex, Black Americans are still the least likely out of all of the racial groups to own a home.

One of the barriers to homeownership for Black Americans is redlining, a practice where black families were denied home loans based on maps developed by the federal Home Owners’ Loan Corporation.

Modern barriers to homeownership include difficulties with private mortgage lenders, including the lack of opportunity for many African American families to build mainstream credit.

Stacker compiled information for the U.S. Census Bureau to find the racial homeownership disproportion between Richmond and the rest of the U.S.

Here in Richmond, there is a Black homeownership gap of 25.5%. This is the 113th lowest among all U.S. metros.

Richmond’s overall homeownership rate is 66.3% with the White homeownership rate as high as 75.1% and the Black homeownership rate at 49.6% — the 73rd highest among all U.S. metros).

In Richmond and around the country, this issue has impacted families’ ability to build generational wealth. Habitat for Humanity is working to break down these barriers.

This year, the organization has received over 200 applications for homeownership. Of those 200 applicants, they were able to help 10 different families become homeowners. One of which was the family of John and Tanya Adams.

The family of four grew up in New York and relocated to the area. They have overcome obstacles surrounding housing which made them the perfect candidate for Habitat for Humanity. They are just one of the families that completed the organization’s educational coursework and requirements needed to become homeowners.

“We want to make sure that all of our homeowners have the tools they need to be successful and to thrive in homeownership. So, we require that all of our homeowners take ten financial and homeownership education classes,” said Kristin Vinagro the Director of Communications for Habitat for Humanity. 

After surprising their children with the home last week, they are happy that they are able to make their dreams become a reality and provide their children with a home to call their own.

“You are making dreams come true and we are extremely grateful and forever indebted to you guys. My family and I have learned so much through this process. [It] has been absolutely life-changing for us,” said Tanya Adams, Habitat for Humanity recipient.