Audio Blog: Expanding Opportunity for Real Estate Developers of Color in the Time of COVID-19

Editor’s note: This conversation took place virtually to protect all participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. There may be sound issues, as this was a live webinar.

As COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact communities of color, it is important that supporting developers of color does not stop. As not only business owners, but community builders, developers of color come from, live within, and understand the investments that often disinvested communities want for themselves and future generations. However, because of systemic disinvestment, developers of color have far fewer opportunities to engage in their chosen profession or create the lived environments that would support communities of color.

Recently, we hosted a webinar featuring Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners, and Jair Lynch, president and CEO of Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners. Through a wide-ranging conversation with Jair as well as in a Q&A with participants in our Equitable Development Initiative Washington Metro Area cohort, Ellis discussed how developers of color can work to move forward in the time of COVID-19, as well as generally how developers of color can be prepared to navigate the real estate sector – through knowledge, relationships, and flexibility.

In this audio blog, Ellis Carr and Jair Lynch discuss how COVID-19 is impacting real estate developers of color, and how developers of color can navigate the real estate sector.

Expanding equity and opportunity for communities means building individual and collective power to make the change that community members want for themselves. That is the idea behind Capital Impact Partners’ Equitable Development Initiative (EDI). This initiative was created after we realized that, of the $152 million that Capital Impact lent in Detroit between 2006 and 2015, only nine percent of that capital went to projects led by minority developers. In Detroit, where 86 percent of residents are nonwhite, we knew that we could do better.

EDI – which has since expanded from Detroit to the Washington Metropolitan area – recognizes that though real estate development is booming in these locations, the majority of real estate developers engaging in development do not reflect the diversity of these regions. Participants in our program receive training, mentorship, and access to capital to develop their communities…for their communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for our society to create opportunity for developers who are regularly shut out of limited in their ability to participate in real estate booms across the country.

Listen in on this informative conversation!

Recording Timing

0:00-33:59 Ellis Carr Presentation and Q&A

34:00-1:31:00 Ellis Carr and Jair Lynch Fireside Chat