Nov 18, 2022 - Real Estate

Developers of color pitch affordable housing projects in Dallas

A man holds a microphone

Ellis Carr, CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance. Photo courtesy of Capital Impact Partners

Fifteen up-and-coming developers of color are pitching real estate projects meant to help revitalize disinvested communities in North Texas.

Driving the news: The Equitable Development Initiative, which supports aspiring real estate developers of color, will hold a graduation ceremony for its first Dallas cohort at the Texas Discovery Gardens tonight.

Why it matters: The real estate industry has traditionally been controlled by national firms. Developers of color face significant barriers, including a lack of access to capital, equity and experience — much of which is a result of generations of systemic racism.

How it works: Developers received training in project budgeting, real estate finance, contractor management, legal services and community engagement.

  • They were also paired with local mentors and given potential pathways to funding.
  • "There are so many talented developers of color who are ready to work with local neighborhoods to create housing solutions that uplift and support communities," Capital Impact Partners president and CEO Ellis Carr told Axios earlier this year.

Zoom in: One graduate, Sametrius Ruben of Seagoville, got her real estate license years ago while pregnant with her twins and still in the military. Now she's working on an 8-unit townhome project in Grand Prairie. She tells Axios that Capital Impact Partners has provided all the resources she needed to succeed.

  • Joe Dillard III was born and raised in Oak Cliff. Now he's developing a 6-acre property in Pleasant Grove, hoping to build a community with provisions for middle-income families.
  • Another graduate, Queenetra Andrews of Dallas, says her company is on track to complete 26 affordable homes by the end of the year.

What they're saying: "My real estate company was inspired by my own past to not only break a generational curse, but to help other low-income families in urban communities obtain safe, affordable housing so they can focus resources on raising future leaders and entrepreneurs," Andrews tells Axios.

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