Since the founding of the United States, people of color have not been given equal access to the ownership of land or housing. This became a systemic issue in the early 20th century, when the Federal Housing Administration, in collaboration with banks, real estate agents, and developers, played a significant role in shaping and segregating neighborhoods through practices like redlining, restrictive racial covenants, and steering. Collectively, these practices targeted members of historically marginalized communities and prevented them from purchasing, leasing, or occupying homes in neighborhoods across the country. As a result, people of color have not been given the same opportunities to build wealth through home ownership, a cornerstone of the American Dream.
At Windermere, we believe that everyone deserves a home, and we are committed to doing our part to drive change and make access to home ownership equitable. We’ve identified four key areas where we believe we can make a difference, both in the real estate industry and within our company: Community, Home Ownership, Leadership, and Culture. It will take all four of our pillars working together to build an organization that fosters a sense of belonging and provides equal opportunity across all aspects of home ownership for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). We are actively working on a number of strategies to affect positive change and will continue to update this page with our progress.
We want to play an active role in supporting historically marginalized groups by investing more heavily in our BIPOC neighbors and empowering our local franchise owners and agents to be active in their communities. Windermere’s support and investment in those communities will reflect local priorities and help close opportunity gaps.
Home ownership is a pathway to building generational wealth and stable communities. For too long, home ownership has been kept out of reach for many Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color. We seek to redefine home equity, deploy a data-driven strategy, intentionally reduce barriers for historically excluded populations, and work proactively to generate new opportunities to home ownership for historically underrepresented and marginalized people.
Building a stronger organization takes more than recruiting diverse talent. Leadership must pave the way in building an inclusive culture that inspires people to stay and thrive. Our senior management team recognizes how critical it is to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion for the success of our company, communities, and future homeowners. Our unique company structure provides leadership opportunities at headquarters, as well as the regional, office, and individual-agent levels.
Our people are our greatest asset. We commit to being intentional in cultivating a culture of belonging and inclusion, with a focus on greater diversity at all levels of the organization. A company that reflects the communities it serves can better meet the needs of current and future customers.
This is just the beginning of what we know will be a long-term journey of awareness and accountability. We are determined to do our part to address discrimination, racism, and inequity within Windermere and the real estate industry. Our efforts stem from the recognition that there is a long history of housing discrimination in the United States and that the inequality in home ownership has deepened the racial divide. Through our work we hope to play a role in finding solutions to these challenges.
At Windermere Mill Creek, we believe that everyone deserves a home, and we are committed to doing our part to drive change and make access to home ownership equitable. We are proponents of community involvement and encourage our brokers to be leaders in their communities. We believe our brokers have the ability to create positive social change and are in a unique position to make a difference.
Crystal Poncia is a Real Estate Broker and DEI Representative for Windermere Mill Creek. She is the daughter of a Korean immigrant and is passionate about helping people of color build generational wealth through home ownership. She believes that mindset can change your life and is an advocate for breaking through limiting beliefs to change your life's story.