Winter 2020: From the CEO

In October, I grabbed my hammer, strapped on a toolbelt and volunteered my time to help Habitat for Humanity’s Chicago Women Build, a program created to celebrate strength and build permanent, affordable housing for dynamic, women-led families. I was joined by 450 other volunteers seeking to help our fellow females become homeowners. This was an empowering and uplifting volunteer opportunity, and this program takes on an issue that people of different gender and race run into day in and day out — access to housing stability. Housing stability (and homeownership) is one of the most important tools to build a stable future, yet many of us have to jump through hoops and over hurdles to get there. For instance, because of wage disparities, men tend to have higher credit scores and access to better loans than women. Or, for example, Asian-Americans face the highest rate of loan denials of any minority. Because of these hurdles, many people believe homeownership isn’t attainable or accessible to them — but as REALTORS®, we know this isn’t the case. Beginning on page 20 of this issue of Chicago REALTOR® Magazine, you’ll find information about homeownership grants and programs available throughout Chicagoland that can help your clients, including down payment assistance, tax credits and home renovation grants. These programs are in place to make homeownership a reality for people who may not think it’s a possibility, and it’s important we let our clients know they exist. At CAR, we want to ensure this knowledge is easily accessible for you to share with your clients. Our External Affairs and Foundation teams have also been working on videos and training for homeowners’ use, so make sure to keep an eye out! Together, we can make all 77 communities accessible for all and ensure our neighborhoods are vibrant places to live, work and play. MICHELLE MILLS CLEMENT, CAE Chief Executive Officer Chicago Association of REALTORS®

Watch our Race In Real Estate series in the Video Resource Library.