The idea of buying a home is compelling but the process is often expensive, and all the paperwork can be daunting. Especially for the millennial diaspora, who are forging new paths.
Many of whom are first-generation university grads, breaking generational narratives or are budding entrepreneurs and corporate leaders.
Fortunately for us, Habito exists to help people find a home. The company is an award-winning digital mortgage broker, home-buying service, and lender. They also employ a wonderfully diverse corporate board.
Habito’s mission is to make homeownership easier and to transform the UK’s £1.5tn mortgage market by taking the hell – stress, jargon, and unnecessary cost – out of financing a home.
The stress includes the fact that the UK housing market is not an even playing field. Only 20% of Black African households and 40% of Black Caribbean households in England own their home, compared to a national average of 63%.
This disparity has long-term, intergenerational effects. According to ONS data, the median property wealth held by a Black British family is £0. In contrast, the average White British family has amassed £115,000 through property and land.
Habito is taking their homeowner initiative even further with the ‘This Is Our Home’ campaign. These joyful protests allow Black British creatives to riff on familiar estate agent signage and cover them with their own stories of home.
The artwork is meant to make a statement about the power of claiming space, to draw attention to housing inequality, and spread some joy. The signs will be installed and photographed outside the home that inspired the piece, with a different artist creating a sign each month for a year.
The first collaborators include, Yolande Mutale, Olivia Twist, and Hamed Maiye. Yolande was the first illustrator on the project. Her piece, titled “Five sticks of corn on the cob and a hug”, was inspired by happy memories of the food that her dad would cook as a weekend treat. Her sign was displayed in Brighton, outside the house she grew up in.
Olivia, an illustrator, and lecturer, often creates work that depicts the past and present reality of her local area. Her collaborative piece is called “Go for it” and is all about the communal aspect of a home.
The art was displayed outside her shared house in East London. She was inspired by food, noting “Cooking is a gesture of love, and eating together as a house is a bonding experience, we don’t take for granted.”
Hamed is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work constantly questions how reliable our memories really are. He describes his piece, titled “Arrested development” as: “A self-portrait, but it’s a forged self-portrait. I’m rewriting memories in this piece, and I made it to reconcile the different elements of myself.”
Hamed’s art was on display outside the flat he grew up in – and where he still lives now – in Brixton.
Habito are working with talented creatives behind the camera as well as in front of it. Meet the team:
Ayo Fagbemi (creative direction), Tanaka Saburi (curation), Jazleen Senshi
(JLEAN) (art direction), Malini Vaja (photography), Freaq.Rehab (production), and
Nathaniel Oliver (PA).
To learn more about Habito or to apply for their available opportunities please visit their BYP jobs board here.