New bill would help first-generation homeowners, aims to address racial gap in home ownership

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At the capitol, a group of lawmakers is working on a bill to help more people be able to afford buying a home. The bill would target first-generation home buyers and aims to address the racial gap in home ownership.

Minnesota has one of the largest gaps in the country. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota, Black home ownership rates are 50% lower than white home ownership.

Representative Esther Agbaje is leading the effort to help first-generation home buyers afford a down payment.

“These are people who maybe they’re the first person in their family to go college, maybe the first person in their family to have a nice paying job or they may just come from families that haven’t had the opportunity to own a home so they maybe didn’t see it themselves or didn’t quite see how to get there,” she said. “We are looking at this segment of the population saying ‘we see you.'”

Under this new bill, those eligible would be able to access up to 10% of the home price or up to $32,000 in the form of a forgivable five-year loan.

The program would be administered by Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation.

In order to qualify for the program, participants must meet income requirements and other eligibility factors.