Houston NAACP celebrates its 100th year by giving “100 Homes for Christmas”

Hard times have hit all house buyer entities, including HUD. For sale signs and notices that the house either has or is being winterized are about the only things that set apart this north Jackson, Miss., structure that was foreclosed by the government, from its neighbors, Thursday, March 5, 2009. While it might be too late for these owners, under President Barack Obama's housing rescue plan, debt-strapped homeowners might be able to get their monthly payments lowered in bankruptcy court. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The Houston chapter of the NAACP turns 100 this year.

As part of the celebration, the chapter is launching a program with the goal of providing 100 African-American families their own piece of the American dream: home ownership.

The “100 Homes for Christmas” program seeks to place 100 families in their own homes by the end of 2018, including a free eight-hour course on how to shop for a home, how to apply for a mortgage and how to build equity with a home purchase.

Members of Houston’s NCAAP stated they view increased home ownership among African-Americans as a civil rights issue, with the program attempting to break the cycle of poverty among the population by using home ownership to establish both personal equity and community stability.

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“Civil rights is the core platform of the NAACP, and housing is a civil rights issue,” Belinda Everette, the chair of the Houston NAACP’s housing advocacy efforts, said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. “The need for increasing home ownership, which is the pathway for community stabilization and generational wealth, is huge.”

In 2004, home ownership among African-Americans reportedly reached its peak at 49 percent; in later years, however, the percentage of African-Americans who own their own homes lagged behind other ethnic and racial groups.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 64 percent of Americans currently own their own home.

Surveyors found the percentage of Anglo homeowners to be 72.7 percent, while the percentages for Asian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans came in around 58.2 and 46.6, respectively.

For African-Americans the number falls further to 42 percent.

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The NAACP hosts their “Homes for Christmas” seminars each month at their branch office at 2002 Wheeler Street.

Tickets for the eight-hour seminars are free and are available either for the dual four-hour evening sessions or the single eight-hour Saturday session.

Check the seminar’s ticket page for more information.

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