Mayor Walsh Announces Summit to Support Diverse Development

Published on October 27, 2023

Mayor Walsh Announces Inclusive Summit to Support Diverse Real Estate Development in Syracuse
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD) will host a Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Developer Summit to support diverse real estate development in Syracuse. The summit, in partnership with the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Marriot Syracuse Downtown, 100 East Onondaga Street.
NBD, HCR and CPC are engaging minority developers, community organizations, and industry stakeholders to create pathways for minority developers to access capital to fund their projects. This includes exploring opportunities for low-interest loans, grants, and other financial incentives.
“Our hope is to foster a more inclusive and diverse real estate landscape that reflects our community and promotes economic growth for all,” said Eric Ennis, Deputy Commissioner of Business Development for the City of Syracuse. “The summit is our opportunity to inform aspiring and current minority developers of tools, resources, and incentives available to them. We’ll also provide guidance on navigating the challenges commonly experienced throughout the development process.”
There is significant underrepresentation of minority developers in the real estate development sector, according to international business consulting firm, Baker Tilly. It reports that of approximately 112,000 real estate development companies in the U.S., only 1,000 are owned by minorities. The firm’s data also shows inequity in wealth distribution, with the wealthiest 1% owning 40% of commercial real estate, while the top 90% own 83%.
The summit will include presentations from the City of Syracuse, CPC, and HCR outlining what developers should know about each organization and assistance they can provide.
“There’s a significant underserved and underrepresented population of Black and brown developers across the state who are poised for growth, and just need the opportunity and access to the right resources,” said Lawrence Hammond, Senior Vice President at CPC. “These BIPOC property owners and local entrepreneurs are critical to the health and vitality of our communities. They’re not just building their businesses, they’re revitalizing and strengthening our housing stock, creating jobs and growing the local economy, and adding competition, new ideas, and diversity to the industry.  If ACCESS can be that hand-up, or that connection to capital and knowledge that is going to help take their business to the next level - that is the measure of success for us.”
"We are gratified that the city of Syracuse sees intentionally inclusive programs like this summit as the key to future growth and parity,” said RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal. “As Governor Hochul's concerted efforts to build more homes in every community across the State have shown, we need more qualified developers in our corner than ever before. We are committed to finding additional ways to open doors for BIPOC developers as we work to complete our $25 billion affordable housing plan to make New York more livable and equitable for all of us."
Communiy Preservation Corporation is a nearly 50-year-old nonprofit company that provides financing for multifamily affordable and workforce housing with the goal of creating more affordable, sustainable, and equitable communities. The company is committed to educating, training, and providing tools to new developers in the multifamily housing industry, specifically in the BIPOC community. Through its ACCESS initiative, CPC focuses on empowering entrepreneurs who have disproportionately experienced barriers to entry as developers in the housing industry.  
Homes and Community Renewal is New York State’s affordable housing agency, with a mission to build, preserve, and protect affordable housing and increase homeownership throughout New York State.
For more information about the summit and to reserve a spot, visit