September 30, 2022

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Philly startup gets grant funding to help Black developers

The long-term goal of The Collective, said co-founder Sandra Dungee Glenn, is to raise $100 million to support Black developers who are committed to building wealth in communities of color. The grant money will go towards that benchmark, but also help the group support the business operations of its members, she said.

“We see ourselves as intervening and trying to change the face of development in Philadelphia…by really putting more of the control in the hands of developers who look like the residents in the communities that are being impacted,” said Dungee Glenn.

The news comes amid a development boom in Philadelphia — a boom that groups like The Collective say is almost exclusively benefitting the city’s overwhelmingly white development industry while compromising the lives of residents in low-income communities of color in the form of declining homeownership and displacement, among other things.

Over the last 30 years, Black homeownership rates in Philadelphia have consistently lagged behind white homeownership rates. A recent analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found that can likely be explained by the ongoing impact of redlining, a discriminatory practice dating back to the 1930s, but also more recent inequities found in mortgage lending. For example, Black mortgage applicants in Philadelphia were nearly three times more likely to be denied by lenders than white applicants in 2020, in part because of credit issues, according to the research.

“That’s really the fundamental goal for The Collective is really to change the whole dynamic around ownership, wealth accumulation, business ownership, and homeownership,” said Dungee Glenn.

The grant awards will be formally announced on Thursday during an event entitled “Philly Forward: Driving Change through Holistic Real Estate Development.”

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