Statements of Support

Saran Ouk
City of Madison Business Resource Manager

The OWN IT program truly helps families build generational wealth with a holistic approach to homeownership. Sara Alvarado and her team have done an excellent job in creating a program that helps to educate people on financial literacy and the barriers people of color have faced when it comes to homeownership. This program also provides down payment assistance for the participants which can help open doors and eliminate barriers. Finally, this program has been created by experts in the community who are collaborating and together are helping to help build generational wealth in our community.

Lashawne Hunt
Real estate professional, OWN IT Ambassador, First Weber/Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate

Homeownership remains the principal way most families build generational wealth in this country. Children who are raised in family-owned homes have a financial and emotional safety net that helps propel them into prosperity and success as they become adults. Black and brown families who were historically denied homeownership have been ensnared in a multi-generational cycle that has locked many of them out of much of the American economic system. The OWN IT program will be the first step in closing the Black, brown, and white homeownership gap which is a critical indicator to be a fair, society with equal access to opportunity for all.

My passion in life has always been helping individual achieve their ultimate goal. Becoming a real estate agent, I knew I wanted to see more people like me owning a home. Disentangling the racial homeownership gap will require changes across the entire housing ecosystem to address entrenched structural barriers. As an OWN IT education facilitator, I’m given opportunity to work with and educate families on the home owning process and watching each one of them achieve their homeownership dream.

Sara Whitley
Johnson Financial Group

This is kind of a big deal. People involved in OWN IT aren’t just talking — they are doing! I’ve been in a world of talkers for so long, it feels amazing to be a part of a group of doers. I want to make change happen. And it’s more than just down payment assistance — they are educating and inspiring. It’s honestly great being in an organization with like-minded people who have the ability, connections and knowledge to make the change!

Simone Lawrence
One City Schools staff

The program is a great way to open the doors for Black families and give an opportunity that is few and far between currently in Madison. It is very informative and I am excited to be a part of opening my mind to great possibilities

Jack Sanders
Madison resident

Photo courtesy of Jack

I heard about Own It on the Black Oxygen podcast and really loved your model of intentionally investing in Black families without gatekeeping the money offered.

My parents recently helped me buy a condo here in Madison and I asked if they would be willing to make a donation to Own It in my name because of the tremendous privilege of financial help from my parents as a disabled person living on SSDI who could not otherwise afford to purchase a home. I also told my realtor about your ambassador program, and will continue spreading the word about Own It to my friends and neighbors.

As a white disabled queer person I am aware of how much privilege and oppression profoundly shape all of our lives. Whenever I am accessing something that maintains or improves my quality of life, I try to leverage that as an opportunity to share, and to invite others to join me.

Thank you for the important work you do!