South Dallas will get more affordable housing through a new initiative for developers of color.
Fifteen emerging real estate developers just wrapped up a nearly six-month training program that will connect them with access to capital. The Equitable Development Initiative is led by Capital Impact Partners and has trained nearly 200 developers of color since 2018 in three major metropolitan areas. The Dallas region is the fourth.
"There are so many talented developers of color who are ready to work with local neighborhoods to create housing solutions that uplift and support communities," said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance, back in April when the program was announced. "As we are doing in Detroit, the Washington metro area, and the San Francisco Bay Area, our EDI program will begin to build a more equitable real estate development ecosystem here in Dallas."
Queenetra Andrews, owner of Andrews Development and Holdings LLC, heard about EDI, applied for the inaugural cohort and graduated in November. Andrews is also chief executive officer and general contractor of a company that's been building houses in South Dallas since 2020.
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She's completed several projects and has more in the works but all are self-funded. Andrews has struggled, she says, to secure bank financing.
"I walked into banks with about 17 properties owned outright, and I was still receiving 'no' to financing because of small things like personal financial sheets and balance sheets but I'm self-educated, self-taught in real estate," Andrews said.
Capital Impact Partners says that scenario plays out across the country. "Systemic barriers have prevented developers of color from accessing capital and achieving their potential in helping communities across the country," Carr said in a news release.
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The training course Andrews went through connected her to new partners that will benefit her and her buyers.
"Now that I'm partnering with the city and they're giving me the land for a discounted rate, I can sell the house for a lot cheaper. So those houses I was selling for $300,000 will now be about $250,000," Andrews said. "I've learned so many things. I've met so many wonderful people. Architects. Engineers. The other members of the cohort. Everybody was always willing to share information."
"It's amazing to hear what Queenetra has built for herself and her community in her two years of working in real estate. So, the fact that she's been able to come into the equitable development initiative and add even more expertise means she'll be able to do more herself, create more generational wealth for herself as well as continue to build up her community in the Dallas area," said Capital Impact Partners spokesperson David Greisman.
Andrews describes herself as a serial entrepreneur. She started a trucking company in 2014, the construction firm for single homes six years later and multifamily projects could be in the near future. She admits she didn't think she'd love real estate but she does.
"I love seeing families closing at the title company. I just love to see people smiling. I love to see things come to life. You take a raw piece of land and it turns into a beautiful home. And sometimes, I'm driving around and see some of the houses I built. And I have a a 3-year-old son, and I'm like, 'Mommy built that house.'," she said. "It just brings a different kind of joy to help people."
While the initiative helping Andrews build her business has ended it's first training program, Greisman says a second cohort in Dallas will happen in the future.