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Fighting Gentrification One Block at a Time

Neighborhoods are changing, specifically neighborhoods in minority communities. As dull, grey residential buildings replace empty lots, natives of these neighborhoods are being pushed out by their landlords. Why? Because the landlords are seizing the opportunity to rent/sell those apartments/homes for a higher price, leaving Black and brown people in a difficult, vulnerable space. This is what gentrification is. While some say gentrification is good because it modernizes the neighborhood, what good is it doing for the people who essentially grew up in that community? How is it benefitting the neighborhood if people are being bribed out of their apartments? Lynn P. Smith started Buy The Block, a platform aiming to combat gentrification. Smith joined Bold to discuss the importance of her platform and how we should approach investing in Black communities. 

Buying the block

“Buy the block” isn’t a new term. Hip-hop artists have spoken out about gentrification and investing in Black communities. The late Nipsey Hussle did this in his hometown in South Los Angeles. He bought the plaza he hung out at and opened businesses there. How can we invest in the community with little to no capital? Smith says by investing together. By using the Buy The Block platform, you can invest as little as $100 into a project that benefits Black communities.

Plenty of investment opportunities

On the platform, there are numerous investment opportunities listed. They each have their own fundraising goal, but Buy the Block only allows developers to raise up to $1.07 million dollars in a year. Amongst the entities listed, there’s a Black-owned beauty supply store, a project aiming to build 184 new multifamily units and 12,000 square feet of commercial space and more. One of their most successful projects is for an 18 single-family unit and commercial space in 5th Ward Houston. They were able to reach the yearly fundraising cap, making them closer to their maximum goal of $535,000. 

Investing is changing

The rules of investing are changing, making it easier for everyday people to invest in these entities from the comfort of our homes. To learn more about Smith’s story and Buy The Block, watch the interview and visit their website.

For more on investing, check out this article!

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