The initial idea that eventually grew into HomeSight’s Sam Smith ‘Hi Neighbor’ Fund came from Paige Dumler, a broker in Windermere’s Capitol Hill office. In the summer of 2020, with the increasing focus on and support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement as a backdrop, Paige wanted to find a way to make her own impact. She saw how homeownership was such a game-changer for her clients and wanted to do something that would result in more BIPOC people owning their own homes. Initial meetings between Paige and HomeSight led to conversations at brokerage level, then up the chain to the Windermere corporate level. The stars aligned and a new partnership was born!
In addition to initial funding from US Bank and HomeSight, the Fund was seeded a starting donation of $50,000 from the Jacobi Family via the Windermere Foundation. Ongoing funding is provided by Windermere agents and staff across the state through initial lump sum donations and the option to give per transaction through the Windermere Foundation.
The Sam Smith ‘Hi Neighbor’ Fund has been successfully utilized by two buyers since its launch in the fall of 2020. Three more buyers are actively looking for their first homes, according to HomeSight Executive Director Daryl Smith who said “we are not just doing real estate. We are contributing. We are a part of the community.”
Here’s a great article about the new fund, reprinted by permission of Northwest REporter.
Homeownership rates and median incomes also show wide disparity. In Seattle, the Black/African American homeownership rate is 25.8%, about half that of white homeowners (50.9%). In King County, a report of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at Prosperity Now shows the median income of white households is $94,533, about twice that of Black households ($48,075).
HomeSight also offers free homebuyer education and financial counseling, The 501(c)(3) non-profit Community Development Financial Institution and Community Development Corporation was established in 1990.