• New $370,000 investment from Rocket Community Fund builds on $2.5 million in philanthropic funding committed to Atlanta over the last 15 months.
  • Six-month pilot will complement Goodwill’s existing financial training programs. 

ATLANTA, April 23, 2024 – Rocket Community Fund, National Black Empowerment Council (NBEC), and Goodwill of North Georgia today announced the launch of the Homeownership Wealth Initiative, a pilot program designed to equip Atlanta residents with the knowledge and resources needed to achieve homeownership and build generational wealth.

This six-month program is designed to prepare 600 participants for homeownership. The program offers comprehensive financial education and homeownership guidance, covering everything from budgeting and credit score improvement to securing a mortgage and navigating the closing process.

The curriculum, developed by Rocket Mortgage, comprises 10 instructor-led courses, spanning a total of seven hours. These courses cover crucial topics, including financial literacy, mortgage pre-approval, effective home search strategies, available down payment assistance options and the ongoing responsibilities associated with homeownership.

Rocket Mortgage will further support participants by offering free subscriptions to Rocket Money, their budgeting and finance app. They’ll also provide access to Rocket Homes, an online real estate marketplace, and Rocket Mortgage’s mortgage lending services, empowering participants throughout the entire homeownership journey.

“When families have access to the right information and support, homeownership can create long-term financial stability and security,” said Laura Grannemann, Executive Director, Rocket Community Fund. “The Homeownership Wealth Initiative is a replicable program that will help residents across Atlanta and beyond to unlock the benefits of homeownership now and into the future.”

Goodwill of North Georgia will provide personalized financial coaching throughout the Homeownership Wealth Initiative. This program specifically targets individuals and families within the Atlanta metro area (Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Cobb counties) who are actively engaged with Goodwill’s training programs and meet the following criteria: income under 80% of the Area Median Income, a minimum credit score of 620, and have 1% in cash assets for down payment on a single-unit primary residence purchase.

“The collaboration between Goodwill of North Georgia, the National Black Empowerment Council, and Rocket Community Fund is a thrilling initiative,” said Keith Parker, president, and CEO, Goodwill of North Georgia. “Building on our success connecting over 22,000 people to living-wage jobs in FY23, this investment will provide valuable educational programs and tools specifically focused on homeownership, helping more people achieve the American Dream of owning a home. This partnership goes beyond just jobs; it empowers individuals.”

This initiative directly addresses the persistent racial homeownership gap, which is wider than it was 10 years ago according to the National Association of Realtors. Currently, the homeownership rate for Black Americans is 29% lower than white Americans. By providing financial coaching and personalized guidance, the program aims to empower individuals and families to overcome these disparities and achieve homeownership, which aligns with National Black Empowerment Council’s mission to empower the Black community through financial literacy and education.

“In tackling the widening racial homeownership gap, our partnership with Rocket Community Fund and Goodwill of North Georgia offers hope and progress,” said Darius Jones, Founder & CEO, National Black Empowerment Council. “Through dedicated financial coaching and tailored guidance, we are forging pathways to empowerment, enabling individuals and families to overcome these hurdles and achieve the dream of homeownership. Our mission resonates deeply with the ethos of Rocket Community Fund and Goodwill of North Georgia as we champion financial literacy and education to uplift and empower the Black community. Together, we are paving the way towards a future where equity and opportunity flourish for all.”

The Rocket Community Fund is investing $370,000 in the Homeownership Wealth Initiative, which builds upon its previous $2.5 million into housing stability in Atlanta over the last 15 months.

Previous commitments include $550,000 to the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation for a pilot program to cover the cost of property tax increases for qualified homeowners, and to strengthen eviction defense services, $500,000 to the Atlanta BeltLine’s Legacy Resident Retention Program, $250,000 to the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership’s “Closing the Gap” affordable housing plan and $100,000 to HouseProud Atlanta to support senior residents with home repairs.

To learn more about the Homeownership Wealth Initiative, please visit www.goodwillng.org.


About Rocket Community Fund

The Rocket Community Fund aims to simplify complex and inequitable systems to ensure that every American has access to stable, healthy housing. It also invests in people and practices that provide meaningful opportunities for education and employment.

Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Rocket Community Fund recognizes that business and community are inextricably linked, and it purposefully harnesses team member talent, technology, policy advocacy and philanthropic resources to invest in comprehensive community development in Detroit and across the country.

Alongside financial investments, the Rocket Community Fund has organized Rocket Companies, Bedrock and other affiliated team members to provide more than one million volunteer hours nationwide, including more than 720,000 in Detroit.

For more information, visit RocketCommunityFund.org.   

About National Black Empowerment Council

The National Black Empowerment Council (NBEC) is a network of principled, socially conscious, and civically engaged leaders working together to close the systemic wealth, influence, and achievement gaps between African Americans and more structurally advantaged groups. As a collective, NBEC aims to be additive to the efforts of legacy civil rights organizations in the economic, educational, and societal empowerment of Black communities. ​

About Goodwill of North Georgia

Goodwill of North Georgia serves a 45-county territory with 100+ stores and donation centers. The organization also operates 14 career centers to support job training and placement services offered free of charge to tens of thousands of North Georgia job seekers. In fiscal year 2023, Goodwill of North Georgia was recognized as the number one Goodwill in the nation when it comes to people employed, helping more than 22,000 North Georgians get connected with jobs. Through the career centers and training programs, Goodwill serves veterans, people with disabilities, youth, single parents, the under-employed, people who are unhoused, people with justice involvement, and anyone else looking for work. To learn more about Goodwill of North Georgia’s career services and job training programs, please visit goodwillng.org.