As Realtors, we see the positive effect that homeownership has on families both economically and emotionally, as well as how instrumental it is to intergenerational wealth. Over the past few years, the Muncey Group founder Josh Muncey has been reflecting on both the personal help he received in purchasing his first home and learning more about the persistent systemic inequities that often result in making homeownership financially out of reach for many families of color in Boston. While the Muncey Group has been supporting its communities in various ways for many years, Josh and the Muncey Group team recently set out to create a more targeted area of focus for their philanthropy.
In the spring of 2021, Josh set out on a “listening tour” with numerous community members and leaders to solicit feedback on the greatest area of need for Boston’s families regarding their economic mobility. Repeatedly, he heard that homeownership, specifically assistance with coming up with a down payment for first-generation home buyers, was an area where Boston’s families had few (and limited) areas of support. After these conversations helped to narrow the focus of the fund, the Muncey Group selected the nationally recognized local nonprofit Compass Working Capital (CWC) as its partner for a pilot program of grants to support families in their efforts to purchase their first home. Since the fall of 2021, CWC and the Muncey Group have been collaborating to co-design the focus of this first-of-its-kind grants program.
First, let’s get this out of the way: CWC and the Muncey Group’s umbrella brokerage, Compass, share a portion of a name by coincidence and otherwise have no relationship!
CWC believes that asset poverty, rather than income poverty, is the true measure of inequality in the United States and works to support families with low incomes – primarily families led by Black and Latinx women – to build assets and reach their financial goals. CWC delivers programs to families that combine three components:
- Culturally competent financial coaching
- Access to an asset-building opportunity
- On-demand access to high-quality financial education, information, and resources
For more, please visit their website at: https://www.compassworkingcapital.org
The Muncey Group and an additional donor-partner have given a pilot grant to CWC. These funds are to support families in their efforts to purchase their first home, as well as funds dedicated to helping CWC cover some of its operational costs for administering this pilot program. CWC has established internal guidelines for which families may be a good fit for this kind of support and CWC make those decisions without interference or restriction from the Muncey Group. While the fund is aimed at supporting families from Boston who are seeking to purchase their first home, there are no restrictions on where families can buy. Finally, the Muncey Group will not represent the buyer or seller in any of these transactions, or benefit from these purchases in any way.
During the pilot period, CWC and the Muncey Group are engaging in a co-learning process aimed at better understanding how private philanthropic dollars can best support a family’s ability to build wealth through first-time homeownership. At the end of the pilot period, CWC and the Muncey Group will engage in an evaluation of the pilot, with the hope to expand and help more families in the future!
Systems like racial exclusion from the homeownership benefits of the GI bill, as well as historical processes like redlining have contributed to massive racial disparities in homeownership and therefore asset building here in the United States.
We, and our friends at CWC recommend these resources and this documentary to learn a bit more of the history of racial oppression and housing in the US.
We’re so glad you asked! After the pilot program, we will be opening the fund to other interested donors. If you’d like to contribute to Phase II, please make your gift here (all donations are tax deductible).
If you’d like to be kept in the loop on the progress of the pilot, please email the Muncey Group’s philanthropic consultant Amy Kingman at firstname.lastname@example.org