The gentrification of historically Black neighborhoods is happening quickly in South Los Angles. Music manager Daniel Carter is fighting against it by creating an organization to help Black people transition from renting to homeownership.
Carter founded the organization Buy Back the Block L.A., which educates South Los Angeles residents on how to invest and buy properties with the goal to combat gentrification, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In addition to running the organization, he also invests in real estate while running his music management company, Pray and Floss. THR reports that Carter has been operating Buy Back the Block for a year now, alongside co-founder LaToya Tonodeo.
“Homeownership is very difficult in Los Angeles because of pricing and lack of inventory, particularly for a group of people trying to get over the social hurdles we are trying to get over,” said Carter. “Communities that were traditionally Black like Inglewood are starting to become not Black. We are watching the walls closing in from all sides.”
The idea for the organization, Carter says, was inspired after the beloved L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle was murdered. Carter’s mission was to continue the advocacy and efforts of Hussle, who was famous for preaching and facilitating Black wealth, financial literacy, and investing in the community. Today, Buy Back the Block hosts online meetings that include guest speakers from the real estate industry, including house flippers, brokers, and loan officers, who help attendees understand the ins and outs of real estate, from credit scores, securing loans and more.
The importance of Black homeownership is much grander amid the #coronavirus, which has disproportionately affected the Black community. In general, over the last 10 years, out of 15 L.A. neighborhoods where homes values increased the most, 11 were in South L.A., THR report via Property Shark. That’s with the median sales rising up to 184 percent. Black homeownership is just at 30 percent compared to 56 percent for white homeowners. At this time, Black neighborhoods have been greatly impacted by #Covid19. South L.A.’s View Park-Windsor Hills, an area known for its affluent Black residents, currently has an unemployment rate of 32.2 percent – the highest in all of non-white Los Angeles. In 2018, the Brookings Institute found that homes in Black neighborhoods are devalued by $156 billion in the U.S.
These are all reasons why Carter is making it his duty to change the narrative for Black homeowners. His “larger mission” is” to … rebuild Black Wall Street,” which is a reference to the affluent Black neighborhood in Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was destroyed by white supremacists and the U.S. government back in 1921. “There’s so many layers to Black Lives Matter-ing. It’s about reform, it’s about justice, it’s about generational wealth, it’s about fair wages, it goes across the board,” said Buy Back the Block member and actor Arlen Escarpeta.