When Jordan Daniels, 27, speaks about his homeownership journey, he is quick to acknowledge that the San Diego Black Homebuyers Program made his “silent dream” – something that he would think about, but wouldn’t speak aloud as it didn’t seem like it would happen – a reality.
“Homebuying was something that I never thought was really possible for me,” Daniels said. “If you asked me at the beginning of last year, if I could own a home by the end of this year, I would have said ‘what are you talking about? It’s not gonna happen.’”
But, it did happen, thanks to the San Diego Black Homebuyers Program.
Daniels started looking at purchasing a home last year, just before the program launched in August 2021. When he learned about the Black Homebuyers Program, he shared information about it with his realtor and the lender that had pre-approved him for a loan. While his original lender wasn’t able to continue to work with him, his realtor was all in for working with the program.
“My agent was like, ‘I love this… let’s go where we can glow,’” Daniels recalled with a smile.
Looking In and Out
Meanwhile, he also looked inward and acknowledged his privilege – and intersectional identity as a multiracial Black, Jewish and queer man – in accessing the program.
“I’m a Black person who has men’s rights and privileges, and I’m very aware of that,” Daniels said. “I literally asked myself ‘Am I Black enough to do this?’ It was actually sad because I shouldn’t have to ask myself that at all. I am Black enough and homeowning was not in my purview for so long.”
Once he reconciled his ability to access the program, Daniels found himself on the lookout for a new home with his realtor. Just two months later and about 10 in-person and virtual visits to prospective homes, Daniels found a place that worked for him and his family. While he lives alone, he needed a one-level home on the ground floor to accommodate for family and friends with different accessibility needs.
“I’m a very intentional person,” he stated. “It needs to meet these sorts of things before we’ll even see it and check it out… I really care about accessibility and I want to be accessible for other people.”
Now, he’s excited to have a place he can call home and where he can welcome others.
In thinking more broadly about what the San Diego Black Homebuyers Program is doing for Black homeowners, Daniels quotes Solange Knowles, a Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter.
“You’re really helping people accomplish dreams that they never thought were possible,” he said. “Like Solange, ‘I saw things I imagined.’ One imagines owning a home, but not everyone gets to actually see that.”
Daniels hopes that other donors will step forward to help prospective Black homeowners in San Diego. He knows that owning their home helped his own family avoid houselessness when his mother lost her job and his father experienced health issues that left him unable to work. And he knows that owning a home will help him and others build wealth for their families.
“Oftentimes, people who have homes will preach about how homeownership is the best way to build wealth and the best way to have security, but no one wants to talk about how inaccessible it is for so many people,” he shared. “If you believe homeownership is the best way to secure equity in life, then understand that people can’t access it without your help.”
About the Black Homebuyers Program
The goal of the Black Homebuyers Program is to improve the racial wealth gap in San Diego by investing in generational wealth-building opportunities through Black homeownership. The program creates wealth-building and serves as a stabilizing force for family, community, health and self.
Nationwide, the homeownership gap between Black families and white families has continued to grow in recent years. Currently in the U.S., only 42% of Black families own their homes, while 72% of white families own their homes. In San Diego, fewer than 30% of Black families own homes compared to 61% of white families.
The Black Homebuyers Program was founded and seed-funded by an initial pledge of $1 million by The San Diego Foundation Black Community Investment Fund, along with administrative funding from the County of San Diego, through the office of Board of Supervisors Chair, Nathan Fletcher.
In the last year, the program was buoyed by several funders, including $250,000 from San Diego Gas & Electric, $160,000 from the BQuest Foundation, $75,000 from Wells Fargo and $25,000 from Cox Communication.
In total, the Black Homebuyers Program will be able to assist 35 families by July 2022. Several families are currently in the pipeline, which is managed by Urban League of San Diego County.
The Black Community Investment Fund prioritizes and invests in community-led, innovative efforts, such as the Black Homebuyers Program, that increase racial equity and generational wealth for Black San Diegans. The fund was co-founded by the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and The San Diego Foundation, and focuses on four key pillars: education, employment, entrepreneurship and housing.