This Org Is Building Up Black Communities and Curbing Gentrification One Block At a Time

Buy The Block is educating and empowering people of color to make group investments in real estate

Earlier this year, Jay-Z released 4:44, which was critically acclaimed as one of the most transparent and prolific studio albums that he ever recorded. In addition to spilling intimate details about his marriage to superstar Beyoncé, he rapped about entrepreneurship, the advantages of saving, and economic empowerment, especially for people of color.

 

Jay-Z (Image: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

 

“F— livin’ Rich and Dyin’ Broke” – Jay-Z

 

In the track “The Story of OJ,” the retired street-hustler-turned-music-artist stresses the importance of ownership as a means to financial freedom. “Please don’t die over the neighborhood that your mama rentin.’ Take your drug money and buy the neighborhood, that’s how you rinse it,” he raps. That one powerful lyric advises hustlers not to risk their lives over property that is either owned by the government or other; rather, Jay tells them to use their earnings to make investments back into their communities. Not only does this build equity and wealth, but it can also be used as a tool to stop gentrification in urban areas from pushing minorities and working class folks out of prime real estate neighborhoods where they live. While real estate investment is an intimidating and risk concept for many, Lynn P. Smith is showing people how to put Jay’s invaluable advice into practice through her organization, Buy The Block.

 

 

Buy The Block

 

Buy The Block is a crowdfunding intermediary platform that connects real estate developers seeking to crowdfund any type of property. It is also one of the only black-owned platforms in the country that is dedicated to making investments in real estate as a group more accessible. With the focus on the black communities around the nation, Buy The Block is currently on track to raise millions of dollars in funding for development projects in communities of color. It projects that it will eventually change the face of crowdfunding real estate investing in America by taking on more significant projects and contracts. Another goal is to curb gentrification by empowering African Americans to purchase property and remain in their communities.

“Indeed, we have loads of challenges, but I am determined to educate our community and make this work… thanks to everyone out there that united as one to embrace and support this unique concept,” said Lynn, the founder and CEO, in a statement.

 

 

How It Works

 

A press release published on BlackNews.com further explains how the Buy The Block model works.

This enviable initiative offers every Black American an opportunity to invest as little as $100, and connect with other investors – with an added advantage of helping every member buy a piece of their first block. Having a growing database of BlockVestors and Block Developers, all it takes to be a member is by signing up on their website.

With the platform, acquiring property or block of choice in one’s local area is achievable. Getting the funds to make such a big difference can also be without hassles. All that is required of a member is to; find a property, make an offer, bring the property to Buy The Block, get the needed funding from other investors if they so desire, and then purchase the block.

The ability to share wealth depending on each person’s investment makes it a win-win situation for all block investors. Buy The Block can manage any project from concept to end, and they aim to develop a large number of construction projects, in areas such as; residential, manufacturing, retail, multi-family, medical, religious, and pre-engineered building construction.

With the focus on the Black communities in America, Buy The Block is on track to raise millions of dollars in funding for development projects in these communities. Having the capacity to take on more significant projects and contracts, they project that they will soon change the face of crowdfunding real estate investing in the country.

They intend to do this by committing their time to getting great projects and making it a win-win for all sponsored projects. Their mission as stated on their website is to “change investing from confusing and frustrating, to an accessible and enjoyable social experience.”

 

For more information, head to www.BuyTheBlock.com.