Although many people consider home ownership to be part of the American Dream, home ownership rates have been lagging across the nation. At the end of 2016, the national home ownership rate was 63.7%, a drop of more than five percent from 2006 when the national home ownership rate was 68.9%.*

While there are some obvious economic conditions driving this trend, there are a number of additional contributing factors that vary among demographic groups. Analysis of 2015 mortgage application trends demonstrates that low- and moderate-income applicants in the state of Missouri are more than one and one half times more likely (4.3% vs. 2.6%) than middle- and upper-income applicants to be turned down for a home loan due to their credit history.

Recognizing this challenge, UMB is working with Credit & Homeownership Empowerment Services, Inc. (CHES, Inc.), a Kansas City-based non-profit credit-counseling organization. UMB will provide sponsorships to qualified referrals, making the six-month CHES, Inc. program—valued at $694—available to participants at a deeply discounted total cost of only $55.

Through UMB’s sponsorship, low- and moderate-income applicants who didn’t credit qualify for a mortgage purchase loan will have the opportunity to participate in consumer credit education and credit restoration services provided by CHES, Inc., which is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing, financial education and credit counseling organization.

The program provides access to a financial counselor who can help address the individual’s unique financial situation, with the goal of achieving long-term financial and home ownership success. While no one can guarantee the results of participation, UMB’s sponsorship of program participants is broadening the pathway to home ownership for low- and moderate-income individuals in Kansas City.

“We’ve seen many clients transform their lives in a short period of time and we’re excited to be working with UMB to continue this work in the community,” said Coley Williams, President and CEO of CHES, Inc.

*Statistical information contained within this post was compiled from the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data available at‡ and the Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Series H-111, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233.


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