This episode originally aired on Nov. 1, 2022. It was updated and re-aired on November 21, 2023.

This Week on American Black Journal:

The real estate development industry is dealing with a representation crisis. According to a March 2023 study from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Grove Impact, minority developers — Black and Hispanic — together make up less than 1% of the entire real estate industry. African Americans make up 0.4% of the industry, while Hispanic developers represent only 0.16% of the industry.   

These findings point to the constraints many minority developers face trying to enter the industry. In the majority-African American populated city of Detroit, where does the state of Black real estate development stand?  

American Black Journal and BridgeDetroit team up to examine the current state of Black real estate development in Detroit with excerpts from a virtual town hall titled, “Building Black Development.” Host Stephen Henderson moderates a robust discussion with local African American developers and leaders from organizations that are providing resources and tools to help level the playing field for minority developers. 

Emerging, veteran Black developers discuss the barriers to entry in the real estate industry

Looking at the challenges faced by emerging and seasoned African American real estate developers, “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson talks with Hosey Development LLC Owner Richard Hosey, Urge Development Group CEO Roderick Hardamon and Jason Headen, the vice president of the Detroit market for CHN Housing Partners, about the process of getting development projects off the ground and completed. 

Their discussion focuses on the racial wealth gap, a lack of access to capital, the risks involved in development, gaining the necessary experience, and other struggles that impact developers of color. 

The challenges of being a Black woman in real estate development 

On top of the struggles that come with being an African American real estate developer, Develop Detroit CEO Sonya Mays also faces setbacks as a woman in a male-dominated industry. What are the gender-based barriers Black women face in the real estate development industry?  

RELATED: Black women entrepreneurs face uphill battle for business growth compared to men

“American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson talks with Mays about how she got her start in real estate development, the specific challenges she’s faced as a woman in the industry, and how she uses her role to uplift and invite other women to join the real estate industry too. 

Organizations offer financing, resources to help Black developers close racial equity gap in real estate industry

From a lack of access to investments and financing and a lack of trust in the projects they put forth, aspiring African American real estate developers face barriers to entry at every turn. Some local and national organizations, however, are making an effort to remove those barriers and reduce the racial equity gap that’s currently present in real estate development.  

To learn about the financial resources and other support these organizations are providing, “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson talks with Invest Detroit’s Executive Vice President of Lending Keona Cowan; Jeff Mosley, the national equity development initiative program lead for Capital Impact Partners; and Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges, the executive vice president of economic development and investment services for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

They discuss the financial and mentoring support that’s available, and the current development needs in the city’s neighborhoods, such as affordable housing. 

Stay Connected: 

Subscribe to Detroit Public Television’s YouTube Channel & Don’t miss American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.

Catch the daily conversations on our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @amblackjournal.

View Past Episodes >

Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.