This Black-owned real estate developer has been working in the Baltimore metropolitan area since 2018 to increase the number of affordable housing opportunities for Black families.
According to AFRO News, Kioba Business Ventures (Kioba), a company comprised of a group of 30 men, began as a self-funded business in order to identify the needs of urban communities. During the early stages of the organization, members obtained realtor, contractor, and insurance licenses to provide affordable quality housing for first-time homebuyers in low- to middle-income areas.
Renovations were successfully completed on a vacant house in District 9, a district with many empty properties. The homebuyer gained over $10,000 in positive equity after moving in because of the improvements. Kioba currently has three homes under construction in Druid Hill, District 7.
These initiatives are aimed at addressing Baltimore City’s troubling homeownership rates. Abell Foundation data shows that between 2007 and 2017, the homeownership rate decreased from 51% to 47%, while Black homeownership fell to 42%.
A member of Kioba’s logistics committee, Kevin Daniels, said, “The vision is to leverage real estate as an asset to empower Black men to create generational wealth, and the mission was to develop a sustainable system to support Black and urban communities in an effort to build Black families through cultural enrichment, wealth creation, asset sharing and the raising of public health awareness for the preservation of Black lives.”
Obtaining bank loans and redlining are significant obstacles for Black families. The Kioba organization stands for “Keep it 100 Black Men Association,” and brings together contractors, developers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, activists, and professors. By combining their knowledge, the brotherhood aims to empower Black families with financial literacy and home-buying tools.
A collaboration between Kioba and Smalltimore Homes, an affordable housing initiative in Baltimore, aims to educate city residents about financial literacy and the construction industry. As homeownership rates increase in Baltimore, Kioba predicts a decrease in neighborhood violence and crime.