Financial Support for Black and Non-White Hispanic Prospective Homebuyers in South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA)
We know what you’re thinking
If these are questions you’ve asked yourself, then you’re exactly who we have in mind. We encourage you to apply for the loan.
What is the Wealth Gap Equalizer Loan (WGEL)?
The WGEL program is a Special Purpose loan intended to narrow the racial wealth and home ownership gap by making home-buying more attainable for Black and non-White Hispanic families in the South Orange and Maplewood communities. The program offers unsecured, no-interest loans that will provide ready cash for Black and non-White Hispanic families to successfully compete in the home-buying process, including supplemental cash for purchase offers, down payments, closing costs, legal fees, and other transactions related to homebuying.
Who can apply for the WGEL program?
Individuals applying for the WGEL program must be:
What are the terms of the loan?
WGEL offers qualifying participants an interest-free, unsecured loan of up to $7,500. The funds are non-transferable and must be repaid in 5 years or less. There are no penalties for early repayment. Borrowers are not required to leverage any assets. Up to 50% of the loan is eligible for loan forgiveness after 5 years residency for purchases made in South Orange.
With all this talk about the racial wealth gap, why is SOMA right for my family?
The racial wealth gap is a nation-wide, long-standing equity issue for Black and non-White Hispanic people. In New Jersey, the wealth gap exceeds the national average, making it even harder for these households to build generational wealth. Without intentional action, this inequity won’t soon end.
The good news is that South Orange and Maplewood are two towns that are taking action to address all kinds of racial inequities. With initiatives like the Wealth Gap Equalizer Loan, the Coalition on Race strives to preserve residential racial integration, as well as to establish policies and practices that make our towns uniquely welcoming and more supportive for all.
To apply for the WGEL program, applicants must:
What does the loan application process look like?
The WGEL application process is designed to move quickly so that you can stay competitive in the housing market. On average, approved applicants should expect to receive a final decision on their application within 7 business days. Once approved, the funds are distributed directly by the Community Coalition on Race.
Wealth Gap Equalizer Loan Program Phases
Complete a HUD Approved, Certified First Time Home Buyer Program
Submit Your WGEL Application
Run through this checklist at home to verify that you’re eligible for the WGEL program. Submit your application if you meet the below criteria.
- Black or non-White Hispanic
- A First Time Home Buyer (FTHB)
- Purchasing a South Orange or Maplewood property as primary residence
- Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter
- A Certificate of Completion from a HUD Approved FTHB Program
Application Review & Notification
Completed applications are reviewed within 72 hours of receipt. You will receive an approval or denial letter by email within 7 business days of submission. Additional documents may be requested during this phase.
Interview & Loan Issuance
- Review loan terms and expectations
- Prior to closing, submit Mortgage Commitment Letter and completed 1003 application form
- Sign closing documents
Do you want to know more about the Community Coalition on Race?
The South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is a nationally recognized non-proﬁt focused on racial integration, equity, and inclusion that has been a part of the South Orange and Maplewood communities for over 25 years. We are committed to building and preserving a community free of racial segregation where there is equity for all. Learn more about us at CommunityCoalitionOnRace.org(opens in a new tab)