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Home loans

Some community development lenders believe that giving low-income people the opportunity to own their own homes is the best way to help families and communities. Home ownership provides security and stability and motivates people to maintain and improve their property. Home equity gives families a financial asset they can use as collateral to start a business, or as a financial reserve during hard times.

"We found that 60 to 70 percent of the wealth of families, white or black, was held in the equity that people own in their home. We found that minority and rural and women entrepreneurs——to have the kind of stake they needed to get started in a business--had to first be able to own a home. So, we became preachers for the importance of owning a home."

Martin Eakes, Self Help Credit Union
"There are millions of women raising children by themselves in America. They're not bad people. They've got plenty of family values. They just don't have any money, and all they need is somebody to give them a chance. But, if you don't have money, they treat you like you're a bad person. You're not bad, you're just poor."

Kathleen Fitzgerald, homeowner

Real stories

Walltown is a neighborhood that was revitalized by a home ownership program.

Kathleen Fitzgerald was a single mother who had been turned down by banks because she had medical bills on her record.