Together, we can build a world where everyone has a stable and healthy place to live.

Learn more about Habitat's Advancing Black Homeownership Initiative

Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Unfortunately, a structure of intentional and systemic racial discrimination in the U.S. has created barriers to homeownership for many Black families and individuals.

Bringing Habitat’s Advancing Black Homeownership Initiative to Portland

In response to these inequities, we are launching Habitat’s Advancing Black Homeownership Initiative in Portland.

Habitat will be facilitating listening sessions with Black homeowners and prospective homeowners in the fall of 2024, to learn more about your experiences with Habitat and homeownership. Our goal is to learn from these insights and improve our efforts to support Black homeownership in our community.

Sign up to receive more information about participating

Through listening sessions and interviews, Habitat for Humanity Portland Region will listen to and learn from community members about barriers to homeownership for Black Portlanders, both through Habitat’s Homeownership Program and the traditional housing market.

Here’s what’s next:

  • Listening Sessions: Structured group conversations hosted by local company TryXcellence, scheduled for September and October 2024.
  • Electronic Survey: Available for those unable to attend the listening sessions.
  • Interviews: Conducted with community partners and other organizations working in affordable homeownership in Portland.

The insights gathered from these listening sessions, surveys, and interviews will be used to develop recommendations on how Habitat can improve access to our Homeownership Program.

Meet TryXcellence, Habitat’s partner

Owned and operated by lifetime Portlanders, TryXcellence is a consulting firm based in North Portland that is leading the way in the restoration of human dignity and its crucial role in the development of a healthy and balanced society. TryXcellence provides equitable, innovative solutions that evaluate and establish new support systems and approaches which remove historic barriers to privilege and power.

Meet Ericka Warren, Project Facilitator

Ericka will facilitate the listening sessions, interviews and surveys for Habitat’s
Advancing Black Homeownership initiative in Portland. If you sign up to learn more
about participating, you’ll likely hear from Ericka!
In addition to her work with TryXcellence, Ericka serves as a strategic advisor for
equity and community engagement to University of Oregon, Oregon Department of
Transportation I5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project and other local and regional
private entities. She was also named one of the 2021 Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Women of Vision.

Meet Dr. Steven Holt, TryXcellence Owner and Project Oversight

Dr. Steven Holt offers his insights and provides project management services to the
community engagement portion of Habitat’s Advancing Black Homeownership
Initiative. In addition to his work with TryXcellence, Dr. Steven Holt was instrumental
in the establishment of a national affordable housing model for giving preference to
historically marginalized and displaced people groups. He has provided strategic
counsel, leadership development and facilitation for government agencies, for profit
and non-profit organizations, and many others.

We’d love to talk with you.

If you’re interested in joining the conversation, either in the listening sessions or by taking the survey, sign up here to be emailed when more information becomes available

Why Advancing Black Homeownership?

Habitat’s Advancing Black Homeownership (AHB) initiative is Habitat’s commitment to closing the Black Homeownership gap. The ABH initiative aims to address structural and deep-seated inequality in the U.S. housing market, caused by decades of intentional and systemic racial discrimination. Discriminatory housing policies in the U.S. have been a prime engine of social and economic inequality among communities of color for generations. While many people experience these barriers, aspiring Black homeowners are most hindered by a system of discriminatory policies and practices that limit access to affordable housing.

Throughout our 42-year history, Habitat for Humanity Portland Region has consistently worked with Black families to achieve first-time homeownership. While our work on this issue is not new, Habitat’s ABH initiative makes our commitment to Black homeowners explicit and provides a strategy to deepen efforts in the ongoing work of Habitat locally and at the national level.