Community partners join forces to make homeownership a reality and sustainable for underserved populations.

New initiative “Let’s Make Home the Goal” highlights importance of housing counseling services in addressing the racial homeownership gap.

Working to increase homeownership opportunities among people of color, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and community partners across the Kansas City region have joined forces to promote the benefits of homebuyer education services provided by HUD-certified housing counselors. The “Let’s Make Home the Goal” campaign seeks to support populations that have historically faced difficulties with the homebuying process due to systemic barriers.

“The homeownership rate for Black Americans is nearly 30% lower than that of white Americans,” said Justin Walker, director of business development at CHES, Inc., a HUD-approved housing counseling and financial empowerment organization. “We need to find actionable ways for all people in the metro, regardless of where you live and your demographic background, to achieve the goal of homeownership.”

Justin Walker, Business Development Director, CHES, Inc.

Building Wealth through Homeownership

Owning a home has long been the primary way for low- and moderate-income families to build wealth in the United States. And owning an affordable home helps families achieve financial security and better health outcomes, along with better employment and educational opportunities.

Speaking at a recent First Suburbs Coalition meeting hosted by the Mid-America Regional Council, Walker, who has worked with the Greater Kansas City Regional Housing Partnership (RHP) on homeownership support strategies, told participants that “whether you are a first-time homebuyer, current homeowner or looking to buy your next home, HUD-certified counselors offer all the pre- and post-purchase assistance you need to be a successful and savvy homeowner.”

In addition to connecting prospective homebuyers with housing counseling services, CHES, Inc. is seeking to collaborate with local government leaders and policymakers on specific homeownership priorities their communities’ have identified. City and county officials interested in learning more are encouraged to email Justin Walker at

Upcoming Event

CHES, Inc. and HUD, along with area real estate professionals, brokers, financial institutions and developers, are also partnering to host an upcoming homebuyer education event. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Plexpod Westport Commons located at 300 E. 39th St. in Kansas City, Missouri. The event will offer free parking, food trucks, activities for youth and workshops on housing. Look for more details coming soon.

More Information

To learn more about the “Let’s Make Home the Goal” program, visit HUD’s website. To learn about the homebuying and homeownership programs offered by CHES, Inc., visit their Homeownership Resource Center. For more information about the RHP and other regional efforts to build an effective housing system that expands and sustains access to affordable housing, visit MARC’s Housing web page.