HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Black American homeownership is often disproportionate to the number of white Americans who own homes.
A Huntsville realtor has been working for decades to change that.
“I’ve been here since first grade and we were steered to low property value areas,” said Sandra Brazelton, CEO of Quali-Tech Properties. “There was predatory lending going on and we were just not professionally represented.”
Brazelton has been helping first generation home buyers build wealth in their families across the Huntsville area for more than 30 years.
When she started as a realtor in 1989, Brazelton says she met Black clients who didn’t know they were allowed to buy homes.
“Because of our history, having gone through slavery where it was against the law to own real estate, a lot of that generational hopelessness was passed down and people didn’t have the desire for home ownership because they didn’t believe that they could,” Sandra Brazelton said.
She’s helped thousands of African-Americans buy homes for the first time – no doubt her efforts contribute to numbers in the Huntsville area – where the percentage of Black homeowners is close to the percentage of those who live in the area.
There’s been a lot of progress in terms of Black homeownership, but a lot of progress still needs to happen.
“While we’ve made tremendous progress, you can imagine the generations of wealth gap that have gone on because of real estate inequities,” she said.
When it comes to building a legacy, Alex Brazelton is following in her mom’s footsteps – helping encourage home ownership.
Alex Brazelton says it’s inspiring when she helps someone buy a home for the first time in their family’s history.
“That’s very inspiring and that’s why I do what I do,” Alex Brazelton said. “Selling real estate is not just a commission for me. I truly have a passion for helping people achieve their goals, get what they want. My biggest goal is for my clients to obtain generational wealth.”
The percentage of Black homeownership varies nationwide. It’s higher than Huntsville in some places and as low as in the single digits in many parts of the country.