MDEAT to Activate Housing Hub at Jazz In The Gardens To Help Black Families With Homeownership

MDEAT to Activate Housing Hub at Jazz In The Gardens To Help Black Families With Homeownership


Couple enjoys Jazz In The Gardens. (Twitter: @jazzgardens)

Tens of thousands of people from around the country will flock to the City of Miami Gardens to attend the Jazz In The Gardens Music Fest this weekend. In addition to enjoying great music and food, they’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the possibilities of homeownership in Miami-Dade County.

The Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT) has partnered with Bank of America to host a housing hub during the popular festival on March 11 and 12 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

After an influx of new residents during the pandemic led to Miami surpassing Los Angeles and New York to become the most unaffordable housing market last year, many natives and longtime locals were priced out of their dreams of becoming homeowners.

“Home prices in Miami have been on the rise since last year, and the trend has continued into 2022,” RealtyHop reported in February 2022. “The city has now moved up to be the least affordable housing market in the nation. Households would need to contribute 78.71% of their income towards homeownership costs, which is up 1.55% from last month.”

It’s one of the reasons MDEAT Executive Director Bill Diggs said the housing hub is so important.

“MDEAT serves a community that has faced historical barriers to homeownership. The Housing Hub reflects part of our commitment to leverage resources and relationships to help our target market access the American Dream of homeownership,” Diggs said in a statement. “We invite the community to meet our team and learn how we can help you accomplish your homeownership goals.”

According to press release about the event, MDEAT’s housing hub will be an interactive, community-facing experience allows attendees to meet with the organization’s team members, Bank of America community lenders and HUD-certified housing counselors. Attendees will also be eligible for giveaways and can take a digital keepsake in the Hub’s 360 photo machine.

Vania Laguerre, a Bank of America Market Executive for Miami, said they were thrilled to support the housing hub. “We are delighted to sponsor this important resource and look forward to serving the community with the information and tools they need to further their homebuying journeys,” Laguerre said.

MDEAT is currently offering up to $28,500 in zero-interest deferred loans to qualifying residents through its Homeownership Assistance Program (HAP) to assist with down payments and closing costs.

According to MDEAT, it has invested over $17 million to help more than 3,100 Black families purchase homes in Miami-Dade County since 1995. Its mission is to improve the economic development of Miami-Dade County’s Black community.

Zachary Rinkins is the public information officer for MDEAT. He said they would be located on Sponsor Row during Jazz In The Gardens and are passionate about helping people achieve their homeownership dreams.

“If you’re serious about purchasing a home, Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust is serious about getting you some help and being a part of your team to acquire a home,” Rinkins told Rodney Baltimore during an interview with HOT 105. “We’re doing all we can to get you a competitive advantage to help you accomplish your housing dreams.”

He also said his entire organization looks forward to their inaugural activation at Jazz In The Gardens.

“We want to meet you; we want to get your contact information. This is just basically a soft introduction … but the real work is going to start after the activation,” Rinkins continued. “We help people get homes all throughout Miami-Dade County. … But there is some specific focus the MDEAT in targeted urban areas Florida City, Miami Gardens, Allapattah, Liberty City and places like that.”

For more information about MDEAT and its programs and services, call 305-375-5661 or visit miamidade.gov/economicadvocacytrust.