Diverse developers work in hard hats on construction site to build affordable housing

Equipping Developers to Build Their Communities

Growing Diverse Housing Developers: Video Series

Building communities of opportunity requires that people at all income levels have decent, affordable places to live and thrive. This means proactively engaging with community groups, housing developers, policy makers, and investors to foster housing efforts that help build assets while preserving long-term affordability. 

For many communities that have experienced systemic disinvestment, there has been a lack of focus on what genuine support for their needs/goals looks like. Diverse developers are perfectly placed to support underestimated communities because they come from and represent communities that need support to thrive. However, for diverse developers, helping shape and increase access to affordable housing in rapidly developing cities is hampered by the fact these individuals remain underrepresented in the real estate development industry. According to a 2023 study, diverse developers are estimated to make up less than five percent of the developers in the country, leading to multiple challenges, including lack of capital, lack of connections, and lack of capacity to support their communities.

Capital Impact Partners, part of the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, is committed to provide financing, policy efforts, and program development to support affordable housing efforts across the country. In line with that reality and its commitment, Capital Impact partnered with Low Income Investment Fund and Reinvestment Fund in 2022 to implement Growing Diverse Housing Developers (GDHD)

More About the Growing Diverse Housing Developers Program

Funded by Wells Fargo, Growing Diverse Housing Developers is a $30 million program that aims to increase the supply of homes that are affordable in several key regions across the country, and to support the sustained growth and financial independence of experienced diverse developers.

Through catalytic grants, training, mentorship, and resources needed to grow and scale their businesses, Growing Diverse Housing Developers helps participants grow their businesses in an industry where they have long been underestimated.

Watch our video series to learn more about Growing Diverse Housing Developers and the impact it has been creating for diverse developers and the communities they serve, through the words of GDHD participants and leaders. 

Diverse developers are significantly underfunded and underrepresented in the real estate industry. Through Growing Diverse Housing Developers, we aim to support diverse housing developers, enabling them to grow their businesses, and at the same time, offer communities more affordable housing options for renters and homeowners.

In this video, hear from GDHD participants, leaders, and stakeholders as they discuss the challenges that diverse developers face – including accessing capital — and talk about the importance of the program in providing diverse developers with the capital, networks, and resources needed to thrive and build community. 

The gender gap in real estate development is still very visible, with women making up a tiny fraction of the workforce. While there has been progress in terms of gender parity in various industries, the real estate development industry is still overwhelmingly male-dominated.

In this video, Cherene Sandidge, President of Sandidge Urban Group, Inc. and a GDHD participant, talks about how real estate capital often misses women of color and encourages women to enter the industry and develop strong real estate development firms. 

Safe and affordable housing is a crucial cornerstone for any individual or family’s life. Without it, accessing education, employment, and other resources is difficult.

In this video, James Armstrong, President & CEO of Builders of Hope Community Development Corporation and a GDHD participant, talks about significant disinvestment in West Dallas, Texas, and how he is better able to build affordable housing for his community through the investment of capital and training he received by participating in Growing Diverse Housing Developers.

Through financing tools and programmatic efforts, Capital Impact aims to clear pathways to success for diverse developers who face barriers to entering the real estate industry due to lack of capital, equity, and experience as a result of structural racism and disinvestment over the course of generations.

In this video, Jeff Mosley, Director, National Diverse Developers at Capital Impact Partners, talks about the investments diverse developers are making in communities nationwide and why it is crucial to invest in their work. He notes that GDHD participants are an illustration of the strength, power, and commitment of diverse developers, and the change they are bringing to communities in spite of years of redlining and disinvestment. 

Aside from flexible and patient capital and a strengthened balance sheet, access to industry connections and resources is essential for diverse developers to grow their capacity and expand their affordable housing production into the future. 

In this video, Laolu Davies-Yemitan, Principal, Five Woods Realty and a GDHD participant, talks about the readiness of diverse developers for financing from lenders who view them as partners. He explains the importance of relationship building and networking he was able to take advantage of thanks to the program, which allowed his firm to get access to capital.

At Capital Impact Partners, we know that every community we support has significant assets, vibrant cultures, and social bonds. Most of all, these values remind us that all residents need agency to determine their own paths and define what they want for themselves.

In this video, Diarra McKinney, CEO of Rosewood Strategies and a GDHD participant, talks about the difference it makes for diverse developers to be able to develop in their communities. Being from that same community means that developers understand the local context, and engage the community and seek feedback on development needs.