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Minorities Continue to Make Strides in the Real Estate Industry

Hand presenting real estate concept,

The relationship between the real estate industry and minority communities has had its ups and downs. For decades, the practice of redlining prevented minorities from buying homes in certain areas. This in turn caused them to distrust real estate agents and brokers.

During the 1960’s, legislation was passed to bring down such barriers and ensure that everyone had a fair shot to purchase a home, regardless of the color of their skin. While the relationship has gotten better, there are still problems that must be addressed. Organizations like the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) and others were formed to educate and inform the minority community on issues like fair and equal housing and access to financial services that will increase sustainable home ownership in these communities. Recently, the Las Vegas chapter of the organization installed new officers to continue their mission and keep their traditions going.

The city of Cincinnati is located in the middle of the rust belt. The Midwest locale has gone through and continues to go through some tough times. Some reasons for this include:

  1. The shift in the economy away from industrial production
  2. The drop in population due to fewer jobs being available
  3. Increased competition from globalization

When the economy is bad, minorities tend to suffer increased hardship due to their place on the economic ladder. However, given current economic data, things appear to be getting better. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Cincinnati area experienced a huge drop in unemployment from January 2017 to January 2018. In the past few years, wages and salaries have gone up as well.

As the economy improves, there will be an increase in local activity, especially in real estate. Confidence breeds spending and investment, and that is what a local developer is trying to do in Cincinnati. According to an article in NAIOP’s publication, Al Neyer is looking for minority investors to invest in his commercial project.  He also appears to be working with minority contractors to complete the work. The project will be the expansion of a local hospital in the community. It is a community-driven inclusive approach that Mr. Neyer hopes to continue once the project is complete.

The article also states that Mr. Neyer joined with first time investors, some who had less than $5,000 invested in the project. If successful, this could be huge for the minority community in Cincinnati. They will be able to get involved on the ground floor of a project like this and participate in the financial rewards as well.

Gentrification has become an ugly word because of its connotations and effects on the minority community. Mr. Neyer’s approach seems to be the opposite of that: including stakeholders from the community-many whom are minorities-and allowing them to be investors rather than just bystanders to change.