Three years ago, Elizabeth Peters, a single mother of one, went on a 10-month journey to find a house to buy in Sacramento.
The journey was discouraging, says Peters, now 33-years-old, because many investors were outbidding her on properties until her real estate agent found a program through NeighborWorks Sacramento that offered down payment assistance. The program helped Peters purchase a home that was a good fit for her and her son, and she closed on the house in mid-March of 2020.
“Then I had a crazy life event happen,” Peters says.
Peters bought her house on March 13, 2020 — and her mom underwent emergency surgery the same day. Peters was caregiving for her mother after she was released from the hospital, so she wasn’t able to move into her home until June.
Earlier that year, her sister had been diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer. In October 2020, her sister died, leaving behind her children. Peters now takes care of her nephews, and she had to sell her house because she needed a bigger one to accommodate her larger family.
Peters is a Black homeowner. According to the U.S. Census, in the first quarter of 2022, Black homeownership rates in the United States are the lowest among all demographic groups at 44.7 percent. White households have an ownership rate of 74.5 percent. In Sacramento, the Black homeownership rate is 31.3% compared to white homeownership at 65.6%.
But there are concerted efforts to help bridge this gap.