Realtor Mark Slade Discusses the Wealth Gap Equalizer Loan Program

by Mark Slade
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From Mark Slade:

Financial Support for Black and Non-White Hispanic Prospective Homebuyers in South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA)

You may know me as a Top Realtor in SOMA that loves what I do, which is true. What you may not know is that one of the primary reasons I so love helping people with their real estate needs is that real estate is generally your largest single investment and I so enjoy helping you start and build equity in your property. I have had the pleasure of seeing so many of our clients build phenomenal wealth as a result of their home purchases.  

Now comes some great news, there is a program I just learned about last night: WGEL–Wealth Gap Equalizer Loan Program–that is available to provide additional loan assistance for Black and Non-White Hispanic home buyers.  

Who can apply for the WGEL program?

Individuals applying for the WGEL program must be:

  • Black or non-White Hispanic
  • A First-Time Home Buyer (FTHB)
  • Purchasing a South Orange (SOMA) or Maplewood (MAPSO) property as a primary residence
  • In possession of a lender’s mortgage pre-approval letter

We know that the home-buying process can be daunting. It can be uncomfortable and even unfair, but with the Wealth Gap Equalizer Loan (WGEL), our community is working to make buying a home in South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA) more attainable for our Black and non-White Hispanic neighbors.

The WGEL program is a Special Purpose loan intended to narrow the racial wealth and home ownership gap by making home-buying more attainable for Black and non-White Hispanic families in the South Orange and Maplewood communities. The program offers unsecured no-interest loans that will provide ready cash for Black and non-White Hispanic families to successfully compete in the home-buying process, including supplemental cash for purchase offers, down payments, closing costs, legal fees, and other transactions related to homebuying.

What are the terms of the loan?

WGEL offers qualifying participants an interest-free, unsecured loan of up to $7,500. The funds are non-transferable and must be repaid in 5 years or less. There are no penalties for early repayment. Borrowers are not required to leverage any assets. Up to 50% of the loan is eligible for loan forgiveness after 5 years residency for purchases made in South Orange.

With all this talk about the racial wealth gap, why is SOMA right for my family?

The racial wealth gap is a nation-wide, long-standing equity issue for Black and non-White Hispanic people. In New Jersey, the wealth gap exceeds the national average, making it even harder for these households to build generational wealth. Without intentional action, this inequity won’t soon end.

The good news is that South Orange and Maplewood are two towns that are taking action to address all kinds of racial inequities. With initiatives like the Wealth Gap Equalizer Loan, the Coalition on Race strives to preserve residential racial integration, as well as to establish policies and practices that make our towns uniquely welcoming and more supportive for all.

Do you want to know more about the Community Coalition on Race?

The South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is a nationally recognized non-profit focused on racial integration, equity, and inclusion that has been a part of the South Orange and Maplewood communities for over 25 years. We are committed to building and preserving a community free of racial segregation where there is equity for all. Learn more about us at

For the website source for this information, go to:

Mark Slade
Keller Williams
Good Homes

Selling a Maplewood/South Orange/West Orange area home involves many steps and having an experienced Maplewood New Jersey Real Estate Agent and Realtor®, specializing in the Bedroom Communities of New York City in Essex/Union County— Millburn, Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, South Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Springfield, Summit, Madison, Chatham, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Westfield–by your side will make the transaction run a lot smoother. I would love to be your Maplewood/South Orange New Jersey Area Real Estate Professional! I assist both buyers and sellers in the Bedroom Communities of New York City, mostly served by NJ Transit’s Mid-Town Direct Train Lines, offering commutes of 45minute or less to NY Penn Station, with either the purchase and or sale of residential real estate.

As an Accredited Buyer’s Agent (ABR), I have received special training to guide and educate you through the entire home buying process. From start to finish, I listen to your needs and desires in what you would like and take the information you give me to find you home. My GO-TO team can provide you the best in Real Estate advice with regard to attorney choices, Home Inspectors and Mortgage Loan Officers

I am also a Luxury specialist (CLHMS), I have received special training to guide and educate you through the entire home buying and selling process. Not only does this extra training help me better understand this upper echelon in real estate, its benefit include a special luxury website: and a corresponding worldwide luxury network that helps to put luxury buyers and sellers together.

As your Maplewood/South Orange/ West Orange New Jersey listing agent I am well versed on as your local expert in all things in the West Orange, Maplewood and South Orange area Real Estate Market. You can expect personalized service that includes a detailed consultation on how to best position your Mid-Town Direct home to be competitive in today’s market with training to provide my clients with an in-depth Advanced Comparative Market analysis, and advice on staging. As my office’s technology officer as well as both a Zillow Platinum Premier and Trulia Premier agent, I use the latest and most up-to-date marketing methods to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible. Being your New Jersey Real Estate Agent and Realtor ® not only involves just finding the home or selling the home, but being your guide, negotiator, advisor and advocate and making sure that your needs and goals are met. Being your New Jersey Essex/Union County area Realtor® (with a little bit of Morris County thrown in for good measure) is one of my truest passions, and “Helping You Find Your Dream Home” is my number one priority.

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