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A new $5 million initiative launched in Detroit will help Black real estate developers rebuild the city, Black Enterprise reported.

The initiative created by Capital Impact Partners—a Virginia-based organization that promotes community development and economic growth—was established to increase the representation of African-American developers in Detroit, the news outlet said.

Under the two-year pilot program—which is a part of the organization’s Equitable Development Initiative—the Black developers will have the opportunity to take advantage of flexible capital, mentorship opportunities, and training to grow their real estate companies. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has teamed up with Capital Impact Partners for the program and invested $500,000 into the initiative. Capital Impact Partners is known for providing financial support for the redevelopment of underserved cities.

According to the news outlet, the organization decided to bring the initiative to Detroit after realizing that there were racial disparities in real estate development in the city. Although Detroit is thriving when it comes to Black entrepreneurship, minority-owned real estate development firms received only 10 percent of the $152 million loaned to the city between 2006 and 2015.

“We’re trying to remove the barriers that have hindered African-American developers in Detroit from participating in the city’s revitalization,” said Melinda Clemons, Detroit Market Lead at Capital Impact Partners, in a written statement. “This new effort will ensure that the brick-and-mortar development component of Detroit’s economic growth continues to be inclusive.”

Black developers are already seeing the positive impact that the program has made in Detroit. “As a developer in the city, I’m excited to show the next generation how much more we can achieve when we work together,” African American developer Clifford A. Brown said in a statement, according to the outlet.

The Detroit initiative is a part of a larger effort to economically empower developers of color in underserved cities. The Equitable Development Initiative is currently being run in Los Angeles and Milwaukee as well.

SOURCE: Black Enterprise

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