News & Updates

Redefining risk to catalyze capital for community-based real estate developers

Community Finance | August 9, 2021

Commercial real estate is the “least diverse industry on the planet,” according to the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

84% of CDCs (Community Development Corporations) are led by executive directors who are white, according to NeighborWorks America. Meanwhile, Black people make up nearly half of those living in federally financed affordable homes.

Ethnic and Racial Minorities & Socioeconomic Status

American Psychological Association | July 2017

In the United States, 39 percent of African-American children and adolescents and 33 percent of Latino children and adolescents are living in poverty, which is more than double the 14 percent poverty rate for non-Latino, White, and Asian children and adolescents (Kids Count Data Center, Children in Poverty 2014).

11 Black Urbanists Every Planner Should Know

From the first Black planner to a celebrated photographer, we recognize the people who have helped us understand how cities work — and how we can help make them better.

American Planning Association | February 1, 2021

“A planning education that focuses solely on a few predominantly white heroic figures is incomplete and unethical,” Daphne Lundi says in “Rewriting the Urban Planning Canon.” “It doesn’t tell the whole story; it prevents us from sharing fuller and richer stories. We must learn to think beyond our traditional planning narratives.”

Helping Minority Developers Shape the Future of Their Communities

Capital Impact Partners | 2018

“We are trying to support local real estate developers who identify as racial or ethnic minorities so that Detroiters can take advantage of the investment and revitalization activity that’s happening in the city and contribute to rebuilding neighborhoods in the process,” says Justin Williams, program manager for the EDI (Equitable Development Initiative). “There was way more interest in the program than we originally anticipated.”

Each person in the initiative’s first-year cohort of 29 brings a diverse array of unique talents and backgrounds to the field. They also offer a deep commitment to cultivating the ecosystem of professionals who are also people of color in Detroit’s real estate development industry.

Demystifying the Real Estate Development World for Minority Youth | August 1, 2018

One of the goals (of Project Destined) is to make sure historically disadvantaged communities who typically rent can economically benefit from neighborhood change. It’s a significant challenge, given that gentrification often hinges on the displacement of minority residents and businesses for wealthier, whiter homeowners and investors.

Everything Old is New Again: Building Nonprofit Capacity in the Age of Big Data

LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) | 2014

Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke made the case for data-informed analysis of community work at the 2003 Community Development Policy Summit in Cleveland, suggesting that groups could raise funds and other types of support more effectively if they would “capture intangible social benefits, such as those that accrue to a neighborhood as residents become engaged in community planning activities, improve their financial literacy, and increase their access to employment opportunities through job training.”

Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups

CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | April 19, 2021

Health equity is when all members of society enjoy a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Public health policies and programs centered around the specific needs of communities can promote health equity.

Many factors, such as poverty and healthcare access, are intertwined and have a significant influence on the people’s health and quality-of-life.

Some of the many inequities in the social determinants of health that put racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19 include: discrimination, healthcare access and use, occupation, housing, and educational, income, and wealth gaps.


SmithGroup | July 14, 2021

SmithGroup has hired Richey Madison as a Principal and Higher Education Studio Leader at the firm’s Los Angeles and San Diego offices. He will partner with college and university campus leaders to find design solutions that will help them successfully transition to a new post-pandemic era.

Dedicated to the development of a diverse, next generation of architects, Richey is involved in the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architect’s (NOMA) Pipeline Summer Architecture Camp which introduces young people to the architectural profession through sketching, model making and walking tours.

Black Americans are being priced out of the pandemic real estate boom

CNN | September 2, 2021

Black Americans are overrepresented in low-wage service sector jobs that have been disproportionately hit by pandemic layoffs. Black Americans also tend to carry a higher burden of student loan debt, earn less money and have less savings on average when compared to their White counterparts.

Before the pandemic, the Black homeownership rate in America was slowly but steadily rising — a small but significant economic bright spot against a backdrop of racial inequality. Then the pandemic slammed the brakes on that upward trend, even as homeownership among White Americans continued to climb.

Between April and July of last year, 82% of Americans who purchased homes were White, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors. Just 9% were Hispanic, 8% were Asian and 5% were Black, according to the Redfin study.