Nationwide, the impact of the coronavirus has disproportionately fallen on the shoulders of Black people. It has affected their wages, imperiled the survival of their businesses and infected their communities more dramatically than those of any other race or ethnicity.
Black property owners have been hit hard, too, as many of their incomes and rent rolls are dependent on those same communities.
The racial wealth gap, a result of centuries of racist government policies, has led Black people who want to break into development to start with affordable housing since government subsidies allow them to purchase and build affordable real estate with little to no equity, these developers say. That path is now in jeopardy, as lower-income renters have struggled to make payments.
Beyond collecting less rent, the costs prompted by construction delays and the need for new equipment to prevent the spread of the virus falls on the backs of developers. For Black developers, this weight is even heavier.
“I think there are going to be many Black developers that don’t survive,” said Thomas Campbell, the founder and principal of developer Thorobird Cos. “That means that the effort towards building capacity of Black minority developers just got a heck of a lot harder. It’s almost like starting back before square one.”
Affordable housing owners have been hit harder than their market-rate counterparts: Nearly 25% of rent-stabilized units in New York didn’t pay rent in June, according to the landlord group Community Housing and Improvement Project. Nationwide, 92.2% of market-rate apartment units paid rent this month, according to the National Multifamily Housing…
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