BofA Makes a Minority Homebuyer Program in Five Cities

BofA Makes a Minority Homebuyer Program in Five Cities ...

Bank of America has developed an inexpensive loan package for first-time homebuyers geared toward Black and Latino consumers.

The zero down payment, zero closing cost program will be available in "designated areas, including certain Black/African American and Hispanic-Latino neighborhoods in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami," according to a Tuesday (Aug. 30) news release.

"Homeownership strengthens our communities and can assist individuals and families in developing wealth over time," says AJ Barkley, the bank's head of neighborhood and community lending. "Our Community Affordable Loan Solution will help make the dream of permanent residence attainable for more Black and Hispanic families, and it's part of our larger commitment to the communities we serve."

According to the release, the program relies on credit criteria such as timely rent payments, utility payments, and auto insurance, but no mortgage insurance or minimum credit score.

Bank of America said eligibility is contingent on income and residence location, noting that prospective buyers must complete a homebuyer certification program prior to applying.

Federal Regulators Propose New Low-Income Lending Rules

The release highlights the huge homeownership gap between white and black Americans — 30 percentage points — and white and Hispanic buyers — almost 20 points. This is happening at a time when people of color are finding it difficult to find a new home.

List23 reported in May that US regulators were rewriting the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act to ensure that lending is distributed equally to lower-income individuals and small businesses.

The new rules were designed to make it simpler for banks to understand what the regulations require of them.

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