Kioba Business Ventures (Kioba), exclusively consisting of 30 men, began as a self-funded business with a mission to discover the needs of the urban communities, according to AFRO News. In its early stages, members obtained realtor, contractor, and insurance licenses in order to develop the highest quality residential homes for first-time homebuyers in low- to middle-income communities.
They successfully completed a renovation on one house in District 9, which is riddled with vacant houses. As a result of the home improvements, the homebuyer gained over $10,000 in positive equity after moving in. Kioba is currently developing three homes in the Druid Hill neighborhood in District 7.
These efforts are in response to the troubling homeownership rates in Baltimore City. From 2007 to 2017, the rates fell from 51% to 47%, while the Black homeownership rate plummeted to 42%, according to the Abell Foundation.
“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,” Kevin Daniels, a member of Kioba’s logistics committee, told AFRO News.
From redlining to obtaining bank loans, Black families face significant barriers. Kioba, which stands for “Keep it 100 Black Men Association,” combines the skills of contractors, developers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, activists, and professors. With the combined knowledge, the brotherhood strives to empower Black families with financial literacy and home buying tools.
Kioba has collaborated with Smalltimore Homes, a Baltimore-based affordable housing initiative, to educate city residents about financial literacy and the construction trade. Kioba envisions that the increase of homeownership rates in Baltimore will help reduce the violence and crime in the neighborhoods.
“Our goal is to have millions of Kioba brothers across the country, across the world. This is not just limited to Baltimore or the United States,” said Renny Bass, a member of Kioba’s financing committee. “The future is bright for Kioba.”