Zero-interest down payments and Sharia-friendly lending part of BIPOC lending initiative

A 0% interest, forgivable down payment home ownership loan for BIPOC Vermonters and lending arrangements that comply with a Moslem Sharia law prohibition against paying interest are among the homeownership initiatives rolled out by the Champlain Housing Trust (CHT). 

$3 million in funding comes from the New England Federal Credit Union. The CHT recently published the information below on its website, under the headline ‘CHT launches new homeownership equity program.’

The Champlain Housing Trust announced a suite of initiatives and financing options to help Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) become homeowners through its signature shared equity program.

One notable component is $25,000 in down payment assistance designed as a 0% interest, forgivable loan after three years for buyers who are BIPOC. CHT, a licensed lender, has developed the loan as a Special Purpose Credit Program, and the result will make homeownership more accessible and will help buyers build equity faster. This program is likely one of the first of its kind in the nation.

“Today, when Black Vermonters are three times less likely to be a homeowner than white ones, we must take steps to reverse the all-too predictable results of systemic racism in this nation’s housing policy,” said Michael Monte, CEO of Champlain Housing Trust. “We are committed to taking a comprehensive approach to extending the benefits of homeownership to historically marginalized communities.”

The program is modeled in part after the Black Homeownership Collaborative, a national campaign to create three million net new Black homeowners by 2030. There are several interconnected components of the program, which has been funded with a $3 million gift over three years by New England Federal Credit Union. These include:

  • Marketing and Outreach. CHT will work with BIPOC-led equity organizations as partners to engage directly to BIPOC families and households.
  • Homebuyer Education and Counseling. CHT will provide counseling, training, education, directly to BIPOC families and households.
  • Down Payment Assistance and Housing Production. As mentioned above, CHT will provide $25,000 forgivable loans to shared equity homebuyers who are BIPOC; and will increase development of new shared equity homes for sale per year.
  • Credit and Lending. CHT will work with local financial institutions and leaders to create a homeownership framework that complies with Sharia Law, which prohibits households of the Muslim faith to pay interest.
  • Housing Sustainability. CHT currently has about 40 BIPOC homeowners and will support those owners to access assistance for home repairs or to replace old systems.
  • Advocacy. CHT will work with public policy makers and advocates to change laws and other systemic barriers that have historically prevented access to homeownership.

CHT’s Shared Equity Homeownership program lowers the amount buyers need to borrow to make the home affordable. CHT stewards almost 650 shared equity homes that are kept permanently affordable as owners share future market appreciation with subsequent buyers.

“Champlain Housing Trust is thankful to carry out the vision of the New England Federal Credit Union to make access to homeownership more equitable,” added Monte.

Categories: Business

23 replies »

  1. Whatever systematic racism in the housing or banking sectors ended a long time ago. I can only assume that what is being referred to as systemic racism is the standards by which all individuals need to meet in order to purchase a home, such as steady employment, the dept to income ratio and a good credit score. This program at its core is racist. Instead of looking at all data and facts impacting the BIPOC community relative to home ownership, and addressing all factors impeding homeownership, we blame the problem on racism. This argument is intellectually bankrupt and does not hold individuals accountable for the irresponsible actions and decisions they have made, which makes homeownership difficult if not possible. Thomas Sowell, a black economist, talks in great detail about this issue. I recommend searching for one of his free videos on line.

    • “The program is racist.”

      No. Call it what it is. The program is anti-White.

      • I agree. I called the Vermont Housing Trust and informed them that this was was racist. They told me that they have a similar program for all races, although there is no free money for a deposit or special interest rate.

  2. Champlain Housing Trust and New England Federal Credit Union are called out as being Racist against All People who are Not so-called “BIPOC or Sharia Law adherents”. This is an assault against All People who need to buy a home, it does not and should not matter what your skin color is or what religious beliefs you hold, No One should be above anyone else and have $25,000 advantage of forgivable grant money, coming from the Taxpayers’ Wallets, and No One should have Zero Free Interest, unless Everyone gets Zero Free Interest and Everyone gets $25,000 advantage. This is a weapon being used to destroy neighborhoods and create chaos across Vermont in all of its small towns.

  3. Tell Champlain Housing Trust and New England Federal Credit Union what you all think about their Racist, Destructive grant of $25,000 and Interest Free Loans for only a specific type of people. This is an evil practice of discrimination, is racist and destructive to all peaceful, judeo-christian societies. This type of evil practice is designed to destroy neighborhoods and towns in a chaotic death. It is part of the Marxist Agenda to kill a Christian Society and replace it with a godless, hateful, satanic, Marxist Regime. If Vermonters don’t start to rise up for their own State and Values, then you get what they, the Marxists, are dishing out to you!

    Home ownership is based on debt, credit score and the ability to pay back a loan. If that is the game they are playing, then All people should be given a grant of $25,000 and interest-free loans, not just one kind of people or a certain class of peoples. Anyone can see this is pure discrimination and designed to create chaos and destruction.

    Liberty is from God not man.

  4. Please file a complaint with HUD and CUNA (credit union national association.) Are members of NEFCU and VSECU (merger pending) okay with $3 million of member dollars being earmarked to help only certain races achieve homeownership with forgiven downpayment and zero interest?

    • The “progam” is predatory lending and outright discrimination – which violates a number of housing, mortgage, and lending laws. Please file the complaints on State and Federal levels. It is wrong and illegal!

  5. I called various entities. A complaint can be filled out on line at the Association of Vermont Unions. This entity is the league which NEFCU falls under. I called the Champlain Housing Trust and they are using data and statistics from over a hundred years ago to the 1950s to validate this program. Basically, the argument is that white people acquired more wealth from their parents who were home owners, according to the data. I don’t know about you, but my homeowning parents gave me nothing. My white grandparents left me nothing. I have had to work incredibly hard for everything,. including my home.

    • I’m white but my parents have always rented; I didn’t get a penny from them to buy a home. I worked and saved and that’s how I did it; no grants or zero interest loans involved. Not exactly sure why BIPOCS can’t do this too??

  6. OK then, how about a Old Testament (Leviticus) lending program? Commanded by God Almighty he forbade charging interest AND cancelling ALL DEBTS every 49 years! Seems God knew about the law of exponentials & compounding interest & FORBID it to prevent wealth accumulation over generations.So if Christians & Jews BOTH ascribe the Old Testament as the “Law” and the WORD of GOD why not make loans to THEM to “make home ownership more equitable”? It’s only FAIR, right? (and also RETURN the words “forgive us our debts” in the Lord’s Prayer, look it up, it was NOT EVER “forgive us our trespasses” until the 1920’s)..

  7. These people are ALL truly sick.

    And Sharia friendly?? Why? They certainly aren’t “friendly” to female infants or young girls, that’s for certain.

    And these people at these VT banking institutions & twisted made-up fringe associated “organizations” likely consider themselves all “feminists” to boot! A feminist who enables & encourages lopping off the private parts of female children. How “courageous” & “virtuous” you all are!!!

    How ’bout you do the same to your own youngsters to demonstrate “solidarity” & your commitment to “diversity”?

    Just sickness & abject evil which have both infiltrated American society & indeed most of the world.

    Not to mention that any type of racial discrimination is UNCONSTITUTIONAL in this country. Once again – WHERE are VT’s GOP attorneys & Civil Rights attorneys???????????????

    Mr. Dame: WHERE R U?????????

    Any response yet?

    Why do I even bother inquiring…….

  8. So… am I reading this correctly? Interest free loans based on your religion. And 25 K down payments for anyone who is not white? Where is this largesse coming from? If it’s privately funded, then its simply individual bigots fluffing and socially preening. If it’s taxpayer $, well, that’s by definition governmental racism and twists religious tenants to discriminate against those who do not adhere to an accepted path. Racism will not be cured by more racism. Religious intolerance will not be cured by creating programs that provide one belief advantages and exclude others. This is woke nonsense, and should be ridiculed into dissolution.

  9. When is someone going to stand up and publicly announce these practices are clearly racist and totally illegal?

  10. Unfortunately, Credit Union National Association and all Other Credit Union related entities are in on it. It started from H.R. 7003, sponsored by non-other than Marxist Maxine Waters, passed the House with a 27-22 Vote. CUNA’s Website for the article is:

    Here is the article, dated May 18, 2022 “FOM Modernization Bill Passes House Financial Services Committee”

    The House Financial Services Committee advanced the CUNA-League-led Expanding Financial Access for Underserved Communities Act (H.R 7003) with a 27-22 vote. The bill represents the most significant proposed update to the Federal Credit Union Act since 1998.

    “Thank you to all on the committee who supported this important legislation and credit unions’ efforts to promote financial well-being for all,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “This legislation provides a commonsense market-based solution to reach the nearly one in five households that are un- or underbanked across the country.”

    “H.R. 7003 adds underserved communities to credit union fields of membership while also removing barriers to the member-business lending cap for these communities. This measure is really about creating opportunity and access for many who reside in America’s banking deserts. As we have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, an overwhelming percentage of individuals and small businesses in underserved communities do not retain a local banking relationship, which is a major problem that H.R. 7003 seeks to resolve,” said California and Nevada Credit Union League President/CEO Diana Dykstra. “I want to thank Chairwoman Waters for her continual support of credit unions and our charter. A special thank you to her team, who has spent hours and days working to bring this bill forward. We know they will aid our efforts to bring this bill to law.”

    Specifically, H.R. 7003 would:

    Allow all federal credit unions to add underserved areas to their field of membership.

    Exempt business loans made by credit unions in underserved areas from the credit union member business lending cap.

    Expand the definition of an underserved area to include New Markets Tax Credit areas and any area that is more than ten miles from the nearest financial institution branch.

    The committee also advanced the CUNA-supported CDFI Bond Guarantee Improvement Act of 2022 (H.R. 7733), which would modify and permanently authorize the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program and make it more accessible to smaller CDFI credit unions.

    House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., introduced H.R. 7003 shortly after the 2022 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.

    More than 750 census tracts are financial deserts, and a net 7,800+ bank branches closed between January 2005 and March 2021, according to CUNA research. Credit unions opened more than 1,400 net credit union branches over the same time period.

    CUNA submitted comments for the record supporting H.R. 7003 and other bills in the markup. CUNA, the American Association of Credit Union Leagues, and all state Leagues also submitted comments in support of H.R. 7003, and CUNA signed onto a letter from the National Cooperative Business Association.

    The African American Credit Union Coalition, Inclusiv, and the National Association of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals also wrote in support of the bill.

    • Considering the human race originated from Africa, we all qualify for these loans! The policies can be written in any form and our pandering bureaucrats and politicians can write any law they wish – the problem with these policies, laws and regulations is they flat out contradict the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The only reason this nonsense continues as it does is they are not being challenged and put down by We the People. If these entities insist on trampling on the People and our Constitition, do not do business with them and do not support them.

  11. Can I qualify for a zero interest loan?…I’m a devout tightwad…

  12. Well, that does it….ive decided im definitely bipoc. Id didnt see any mention of proof of heritage or necessary level of melanin to qualify. I know i have some Abenaki from several generations ago so i guess i qualify! If someone disputes it, i’ll take them to court, plain and simple. If they neglect to have a quantifiable metric to qualify, none of this can stand up in court.

  13. You are correct, no proof required. My grandmother was an indigenous person from Canada. The French Canadian indigenous people are of the Abenaki tribe that migrated North to Canada.

  14. Great point. No metrics, just feelings and a vague hand wave towards systemic racism generations ago…Means tested? Nah? Ability to pay back? Doesn’t even factor in. Free money. Think of the chutzpah required to even attempt this. The board that approved this should be laughed out of their positions.

  15. And sharia law compliant lending? Love it. Let’s just enact sharia law in VT; stoning and beheading “infidels” or even just women who dare to date someone not approved by their male relatives. Throwing gays off of roofs! Bring it on. Sounds like a blast. Truly this state has lost its mind.

  16. If interest free loans are approved for certain people, how will the lending institutions make up for this loss in revenue ? Charge more somewhere (somebody) else ? Nothing is free. And we are talking about institutions that are all about money,

  17. I have been a member of NEFCU since its inception. THIS is the FIRST I have heard of Sharia based lending. It really irritates me since the majority of these so called BIPOC and Sharia compliant people, got hand out after hand out during covid. Many had a rent moratorium, while MANY of us hard working, frugal, live-below-your-means people ( and retirees) got NOTHING! What we got was an increase in our utilities and NOTHING for paying our bills on time. How about giving US $25000 tax free forgivable dollars?? How many years are these same people going to get food stamps and state and federal bennies so they can continue to fill up their carts at Costco, while we cut back?
    Time to start voting the socialist and radical dems out!!

  18. And suddenly there’s a flood of NEFCU members claiming to be Moslem…
    No mention of any validation of how this debt free loan is handed out, so how are they going to approve or deny some member claiming to be Moslem?
    I smell lawsuits galore.