Who We Are
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access
Our finances impact every aspect of our lives, from housing and healthcare access to educational attainment and the quality of food we can put on our tables. While most Americans share common money goals, we don’t all start our financial journeys in the same place.
Historic policies, such as redlining, still have a real effect on Americans of Color, and particularly Black families.
These are big problems with complex solutions – most of which are beyond our control. As a direct-service organization, we are committed to do our small part in seeking financial justice by helping families of all backgrounds and incomes achieve their goals and build financial resilience and security.
IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and access) priorities are built directly into our programs:
Housing: The gap in the homeownership rate between Black and White families is wider today than when it was legal to refuse sale due to a buyer’s race and eviction rates are twice as high for Black renters as White renters.
Clarifi is addressing housing disparities through our housing success programs. We help families buy their first homes, prevent foreclosure and eviction, and stabilize their tenancy. In 2021, 80% of our housing clients were People of Color and 80% were low-to-moderate income.
Wealth: There’s a $3 Trillion racial wealth gap between Black and White Americans, nearly half of which is related to housing disparities.
In addition to our housing programs, we help our clients build and protect their wealth through asset building programs like the Compass Family Self-Sufficiency and the Restore, Repair, Renew Home Preservation Loan programs.
Re-Entry: Across the US, Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at a rate that is nearly five times that of White Americans. Incarceration significantly reduces a family’s income both during and after re-entry and communities with a high levels of incarcerated adults experience higher crime rates and neighborhood deterioration.
Clarifi is helping individuals and families impacted by involvement with the justice system through our re-entry program in partnership with the US Attorney’s Office and the City of Philadelphia. We help smooth the transition back to society with financial and housing counseling, reducing recidivism risk and long-term disparities.
We recognize the historic inequities of the past and their systemic effects on the present. We strive to uplift diverse voices from marginalized communities, and acknowledge that justice requires courage, persistence, and humility.
– Clarifi’s Justice Core Value
Justice: in our own words.
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Redlining – Discriminatory lending practices had deep historical roots. The term “redlining,” which refers to the practice of designating certain lower-income or minority neighborhoods as ineligible for credit, appears to have originated in 1935, when the Federal Home Loan Bank Board asked the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation to create “residential security maps” for 239 cities that would indicate the level of security for real estate investments in each surveyed city.1 The resulting maps designated four categories of lending and investment risk, each with a letter and color designation. Type “D” areas, those considered to be the riskiest for lending and which included many neighborhoods with predominantly African-American populations, were color-coded red on the maps–hence the term “redlining” (Federal Home Loan Bank Board, 1937). Private lenders reportedly constructed similar maps that were used to determine credit availability and terms. The 1961 Report on Housing by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reported practices that included requiring high down payments and rapid amortization schedules for African-American borrowers as well as blanket refusals to lend in particular areas. “The Community Reinvestment Act: Its Evolution and New Challenges”
Racial Wealth Gap – Wealth is defined as 1. Abundance of valuable material possessions; 2. Abundant supply; 3a. all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value 3b. all material objects that have economic utility Merrian-Webster . In the United States, the average Black and Hispanic or Latino households earn about half as much as the average White household and own only about 15 to 20 percent as much net wealth. “Wealth Inequality and the Racial Wealth Gap”