Season 4, Episode 1
“Do one thing at a time, and never underestimate the impact that one committed and passionate person can have.”
Matt talks to Jasmin Shupper, Founder of the Greenline Foundation, an organization committed to combating redlining by trying to close the racial wealth gap and facilitate access to the wealth-building that home ownership affords, by giving grants to qualified people of color for down payments and home maintenance assistance.
The pair discuss the role systemic racism has played in keeping people of color (and other minorities) from having equal opportunity when it comes to access to homeownership; their common bond in having kick ass grandmothers who broke through nearly insurmountable barriers to become champions for minority home and land ownership; and what they would say to Oprah should she listen to this interview!
So, let's just say that Oprah is listening to our show and she’s like, “Hey Jasmine, I'm going to give you a check for a hundred million dollars.” Okay. What do you do with all that money?
That is such a good question.
Okay. So obviously what we're seeking to do is really audacious and it's going to take significant capital, right? Especially in Southern California, where it costs $275 million to buy a house. So, a portion of the money obviously goes to grants, right? What we're also seeking to do, and what an endorsement from Oprah would help to accomplish and facilitate is, like I said, dismantling systemic racism is not a solo job.
So, we are intentionally looking to partner with institutions like banks, like mortgage brokers, like real estate brokerages who were historically kind of complicit, , in perpetuating this really unjust system to now participate in the repair to create a holistic access to hormones. Recognizing that the down payment is one portion, right?
But you still got to get alone at the end of the day, you have to be approved. And there's plenty of bias that exists in the lending industry. Still even however many years after 1968 after the fair housing. So, part of that would be credibility, not even necessarily from a monetary standpoint and I'll get to the money, right?
Cause I could give money away all day long. Everybody has told me I'm way too generous, but I am here for it. I will make it rain as much money as I have. I will give it away, but in addition to the financial resources, which are important because you can't give money away that you don't have is, is, , credibility and access to these partnerships that will help to multiply the impact and move the needle and what we're trying to do even faster.
So, Oprah gives you a check for a hundred million dollars. You like to give money away. Somebody who wants to become a homeowner, what do they do? What do they asked to do to apply? What qualifications are you looking for before you write a check?
Yeah, that is a great, great question. So, I mean, I can give you real time examples that we currently have, but, , so someone through our website submits an inquiry, right? And so then we get that our team that we're obviously still building because we're a nonprofit and you have to have money to pay people as well.
But we have had many people volunteer time just because they're like, I'm so invested in what you're doing on a volunteer. And so customer experience gets back to them. We have a whole list of qualifications. You have to be a person of color, obviously, you have to, at some point be pre-qualified cause we work with the banks and making sure that you can afford a home if we give you a grant for it.
Cause the last thing that we want to do is put someone into a home and then they can't afford it and that's completely counterproductive to our mission, and so prequalification through a bank is one of our criteria and really we're trying to remove as many barriers to access as possible.
You have to demonstrate that you have the capacity to afford a home, and pay and make payments. And you have to undergo a series of financial education. We just want to make sure that you're set up well to purchase a home and also to thrive once you're in your home.
So that financial education requirement is really important before any grant funds are extended, that 10 hours is a requirement. So, we've partnered with a financial organization. That's helped curate that it's in the areas of home ownership, saving and budget, and there's also one-on-one coaching that has to happen, too.
I think the, I think the education piece is really important. It's one thing to have the means or not to have the means to another thing, to even know what you're signing and then also how to, how to do it.