By Dr. Phillip G. Goudeaux
Senior Pastor, Calvary Christian Center of Sacramento, CA
The Bible says, “With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying the favor all the people.” (Acts 2:46) Due to the persecution of early Christians they often met in secret in houses. Persecution aside, I believe that faith, love, hope, discipline, values, morals, wisdom and knowledge should all begin at home. In fact, in many respects, everything begins at home.
That’s also why I believe in homeownership. Homeownership is a “centerpiece” of economic development and urban renewal, particularly for African Americans.
That’s why my church is partnering with CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA) to launch the UHOUSI Initiative. The UHOUSI Initiative is an effort to increase responsible homeownership among African Americans, other minorities and millennials. UHOUSI combines much needed down payment assistance with FHA insured mortgages on a nationwide basis to help credit-worthy, qualified buyers achieve the increasingly elusive “American Dream” of homeownership. UHOUSI is a specialized version of CBCMA’s national down payment program that is also known as the Chenoa Fund.
CBCMA is unique in that it is Native-American owned. In addition to the shared ancestry that many African Americans have with Native Americans (for example, the Pastor of our homeless church campus is a registered member of the Muscogee Creek Nation Indian Tribe of Oklahoma) the economic development needs and concerns of African Americans in urban areas are often very similar to the economic development needs of Native Americans. I am very familiar with this reality. Calvary Christian Center has campuses both in a lower-income, minority-majority area of Sacramento (Del Paso Heights) and in Loomis, a rural area. The Loomis campus was founded to help those primarily in the rural United Auburn Indian Community, a federally-recognized tribe. I am inspired by the fact that by partnering with CBCMA I can assist my community to become homeowners and support Native American efforts toward economic self-sufficiency through industrious enterprise.
Historically, programs and policies that truly empower people, especially minorities, to achieve economic self-sufficiency have often fallen prey to the covert and ulterior motives of those in power who, for whatever reason, derive benefit from oppressing others. This has often been the case with homeownership policy in America. Even now, federal guidelines inadvertently perpetuate historical wealth disparities between minorities and non-minorities by allowing relatives and “close friends” to gift money to help with a borrower’s down payment. Most of my parishioners don’t have family or close friends that can gift this money. These same guidelines provide limited exceptions for other borrowers to receive down payment assistance help, and these exceptions, such as the type of funding that is provided by the Chenoa Fund, are often constantly under scrutiny and attack. These programs, when properly structured, provide a critical benefit to homebuyers who do not have access to inherited wealth, and they need to be protected and preserved.
We live in the greatest nation on earth and God has richly blessed us. I believe that the personal stewardship that comes from homeownership not only blesses individuals and families, it strengthens our churches, communities, schools, cities and ultimately our nation.
Calvary Christian Center is hosting a FREE UHOUSI “Zero Down” Homeownership Workshop, Saturday, January 12, 2019 from 10am -12pm. For more information, please visit https://www.uhousi.com/workshop