BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) Black Summit 2024 is underway in Birmingham.

Dr. Courtney Johnson Rose, President of NAREB, says African Americans face many challenges in attaining home ownership, which is why 44% to 49% is the rate of African-American home ownership in America.

“There are things like red lining over the years that have made it harder to be able to purchase homes and unfortunately we see the results of that now,” Rose said.

Affordability, lack of down payments and low credit scores are other challenges Rose says that make homeownership difficult.

“Right now we’re at 45% and the thing we are in a state of emergency about is that 45% has not been increasing,” Rose said.

The four-day event concludes Saturday with a community wealth-building day at the Star Church. NAREB has been going to over 60 cities sharing this knowledge and helping Black community members become homeowners and investors.

NAREB member Marcus Brown says they want to help people by meeting them where they are.

“There is going to be housing counselors and it’s not only for buyers HUD certified counseling agency can assist homeowners that may have some problems that they run into with COVID and things like that so there is foreclosure prevention that is going to be a part of it as well,” Brown said.

Dr. Rose wants people to take away from this week’s events that real estate is a tool to help build wealth.

“We are focused at NAREB in building Black wealth through Black real estate,” Rose said.  “Home ownership is step one and investing in real estate is step two.”

The community wealth-building day at the Star Church will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.