There’s no question that historic government policies and banking practices have dramatically impacted generational wealth-building for women and families of color
While 72 percent of White Americans owned a home in 2020, just 51 percent of Hispanic Americans and 43 percent of Black Americans were homeowners. Experts believe the percentage of people of color owning commercial real estate is far lower. In addition, a mere 13 percent of leadership positions in commercial real estate were held by people of color in 2021.
At FCI, we’re striving to address this serious racial disparity through programs like our Emerging Developer Loan Program (EDLP). Designed to grow the financial capacity of emerging developers who are Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and/or female, the program has closed 23 loans totaling $4.8M to 11 different emerging developers. All of those developers identify as BIPOC and 36 percent are BIPOC women.
Now, we’re expanding our EDLP to support those who aren’t necessarily interested in becoming full-time developers, but wish to take advantage of investment opportunities denied to generations before them.
People like Melvin Boone, who applied for our EDLP to purchase and renovate a 4-unit apartment building in Madison’s Prairie Hills neighborhood. We worked in partnership with Park Bank to secure funds so that Boone could purchase his very first property. Along with providing access to capital, we also provided support so Boone could grow as a property owner and landlord.
Boone had earned a certification in building maintenance and repair in 2007, and currently works as a maintenance technician for JD McCormick Properties. As part of our EDLP, we advised Boone to join the Apartment Association of South-Central Wisconsin. He has since completed their Property Management 101, End of Lease Practices and Fair Housing classes. He also has access to a mentor who can offer support in the marketing and leasing aspects of being a landlord.
While our EDLP doesn’t stipulate where participants must purchase their properties, we find they often end up pursuing projects in neighborhoods where they live or where BIPOC people are represented. As a result, the program supports our broader goal of strengthening entire communities across Wisconsin.