How one new group can help you become a homeowner—workshop Oct. 27, 5PM in Homewood

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Belonging Council
Anai Mata, Scott Wells Ford, Amye von Seebach + John Vereen (Bham Now)

The path to homeownership can be a rocky one, especially for historically marginalized groups. To smooth the way, RealtySouth and its affiliates, CanopyTitle and Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC, have created a new Belonging Council. Their goal: to promote diversity and inclusion among employees and the people they serve so that everyone knows they belong. Keep reading to learn all about it, including a homebuying workshop at La Perla Nayarita in Homewood October 27 at 5PM.

The Belonging Council aims to let agents + potential homeowners know they belong

Amye von Seebach + Scott Wells Ford started the Belonging Council. (Bham Now)

Amye von Seebach (CanopyTitle) and Scott Wells Ford (RealtySouth) recently started the Belonging Council. They have the full support of Richard Grimes, RealtySouth’s CEO, as well as Home Services of America, their Berkshire Hathaway-owned parent company, which is promoting such initiatives across the country.

“As the largest real estate company in the state of Alabama, we felt it was important to create a group that was focused on diversity, equity and inclusion to support minorities who might feel excluded or unwelcome.

I feel like it’s important for anyone, no matter their sexual orientation, gender, national origin or anything else to feel like there’s a place for them within the company.

And, it’s important for us as a company to stand up for what’s right and show that we protect our people and the people we serve.”

Scott Wells Ford, Realtor, RealtySouth

So far the Council has hosted one meeting and one public event, with more planned for the future. Employees of RealtySouth, CanopyTitle and Prosperity Home Mortgage who would like to get involved can reach out to Amye von Seebach or Scott Wells Ford.

The Belonging Council is hosting a homebuying event October 27, 5PM at La Perla Nayarita in Homewood + you’re invited

Anai Mata, Belonging Council
Anai Mata (Bham Now)

Anai Mata came to Birmingham via LA and San Antonio in 2019, after she married her husband, who was raised here. The two run a Mexican seafood restaurant called La Perla Nayarita in Homewood.

This year, she got her real estate license because she wanted to help people with their biggest transaction so they could become homeowners and absolutely loves it.

On September 24, she and the Belonging Council hosted a table at Fiesta Bham in Linn Park where they gave out hand sanitizer and booklets letting people know how to buy a home if they didn’t have a Social Security Number but did have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

“A lot of people didn’t know they can get a mortgage loan with an ITIN number and bank statements. That was a really good idea to let buyers know if they ever want to buy in the future that they have that opportunity.”

Anai Mata, Realtor, RealtySouth

Building off the success of that first effort, she’s hosting a buyers’ seminar and you’re invited.

Reversing historical inequities in homeownership + making way for neurodiversity with the Belonging Council

John Vereen, Belonging Council
John Vereen (Bham Now)

John Vereen was born and raised in Maryland. After a career in the military, he moved to Alabama, where he’s the proud father of two children, including a non-verbal autistic son. He’s eager to make a difference for his children and for everybody else and sees the Council as a way to do that:

“At RealtySouth, we can educate all people about what it means to own real estate and how they can improve their generational wealth. We can reduce the minority generational wealth gap through education, exposure and by removing perceived or actual obstacles through the Belonging Council.”

John Vereen, Realtor, RealtySouth

One initiative that’s in its infancy is a mentorship program with a local school where students can work with either CanopyTitle or RealtySouth.

Learn more about CanopyTitle—visit their website or follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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