Home Point gives $1M to fund new minority and female mortgage brokers

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Home Point Financial is donating $1 million to fund 50 new minority- and female-owned mortgage brokerages through its newly created charitable community foundation.

"Through this foundation, we're committed to investing our financial and human capital where it's needed most," Phil Shoemaker, president of originations at Home Point Financial, said in a press release. "We look forward to helping people make their entrepreneurship dreams a reality."

Home Point is making this donation as a sponsor of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts' Spark program, and was announced at the group's National Fuse conference.

For years, housing advocates discussed the need to broaden the pool of industry workers, especially to increase homeownership opportunities for minorities.

Almost six years ago, at the 2014 Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention, Maurice Jourdain-Earl, managing director of ComplianceTech, declared, "Until companies diversify their work forces, they will not penetrate communities of color. People like to do business with people who look like them."

With millennial first-time homebuyers, especially those from minority and immigrant communities, making up an increasing share of the market, this takes on even more importance.

To be considered for one of the Home Point grants, the application must include a business plan and show relevant experience in the mortgage industry.

The funds can be used for business expenses relating to technology, licensing expenses, office expenses, services, marketing, surety bonds and salaries for support staff.

Applications will start being reviewed on Feb. 2, 2021, with the winners chosen on March 31.

The $1 million is divided into two separate pools, with 25 grants going to new minority-owned mortgage brokers and 25 to female-owned mortgage brokers.

Allocations are the same for each pool; there will be one applicant in both groups receiving a total of $50,000. The first $10,000 will cover startup costs and then four $10,000 quarterly payments.

Then four other winners in each group get $25,000 each and the remaining 20 get $17,500.

Home Point decided to dedicate its first $1 million donation to AIME Spark specifically to this program. It will dedicate additional money in the future through the community foundation to support and grow the broker channel in other ways.

“AIME was founded with the core mission to grow the broker channel. This grant will be one of the cornerstones of that commitment to ultimately serve populations that are underrepresented in the mortgage industry and provide borrowers with more local, dedicated mortgage experts,” Katie Sweeney, the group's executive vice president of strategy, said in a separate release. “Spark is a part of AIME’s dedication to growing and educating mortgage professionals throughout their careers while providing borrowers with more local, dedicated mortgage experts.”

AIME also announced that United Wholesale Mortgage donated $1 million to the Spark program as well. “Through Spark, AIME is giving a diverse group of professionals the motivation to make the leap to become an entrepreneur to make homeownership a reality for consumers in their local community," said Mat Ishbia, UWM's president and CEO.

Update
This story was updated to include United Wholesale Mortgage's participation in the program, as well as a comment from AIME.
September 25, 2020 6:06 PM EDT
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