August 27, 2021 | Kristen McCulloch
Habitat Charlotte Region is defined by our vision – a world where everyone has a decent place to live – and our mission to bring people together to build homes, community, and hope. In this commitment to our vision and mission, we must acknowledge that certain members of our community are still not making progress.
Homeownership rates for Black families in the Charlotte Region are 42%, while homeownership for white families is 69%. Knowing that homeownership enables household wealth accumulation, improved health and education outcomes, and greater family stability, this gap is not acceptable. As advocates for affordable housing in the community, we must commit to increasing awareness of racial disparity, advocating for policies to address inequities, providing affordable housing solutions, and expanding access to homeownership readiness programs.
I believe that we can and must do more to ensure that our staff, leadership, and board reflect the community in which we serve. Representation is not enough, though, and we must work to ensure the inclusion of all voices and that racism and bias are identified and eliminated. To this end, we have been intentional in creating a Diversity Council whose goal is to embed diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into Habitat Charlotte Region’s consciousness. Their statement of diversity is as follows:
At Habitat Charlotte Region, we envision a world where everyone has a decent place to live. That vision calls us to speak out against the housing inequities created in our community and put equity and justice at the center of our work.
This is not an initiative. We strive to be an organization that reflects the community we serve and lifts the diverse voices of our employees, homeowners, volunteers, and donors. We believe in honoring our entire community’s experiences, and it is our commitment to do and be better.
Grounded in this commitment, we have created a council to embed diversity, equity, inclusion and justice into the consciousness of Habitat Charlotte Region.
I am proud of the work we are doing and know we have a long way to go. We are blessed to work for an organization that has embedded in its mission the goal of building hope. I have hope that by building on the work of our past, we will help create a brighter future.
President & CEO, Habitat Charlotte Region