The Port’s commitment to equity
The Port is dedicated to making real estate work to create meaningful change and impact. Equity and inclusion have been central values and business imperatives since The Port was incorporated in 2001. We always take into consideration who is benefiting from our work, how we can do more to expand access to opportunity through real estate, and how we can help dismantle systemic inequities that plague our country.
Ten years ago, we built one of the best inclusion models in the county for the significant benefits to minority contractors that come from large construction projects. Initially, our use of these plans was in the real estate projects that we help finance. As we started our own construction projects in 2012, we applied those same standards to ourselves. We are very proud of the work we do to find and help grow minority and women-owned businesses. We also seek opportunities to select contractors who hire “second-chance” employees and young people from the neighborhoods where the projects exist.
Over the last several years, we have expanded our goals to help close the racial wealth gap. Real estate ownership, whether it is a home or a commercial investment, comprises the majority of net worth in America, across the spectrum. Nationally, African American wealth is roughly 5% of white wealth. In Greater Cincinnati, 33% of African Americans own a home, compared with 74.5% of white Americans. The percent of African American ownership of investment real estate is statistically zero. Our work, in partnership with others, including the African American Chamber of Commerce, has been to dramatically increase these statistics in Cincinnati.
Our goal is to locate more African American owned companies in the business districts where we work. We have developed financial tools to facilitate favorable terms for businesses that may not have other access to capital, to ensure they have the highest quality real estate possible. As we move forward, we plan to work more intentionally with local and national partners to bring more resources into these business districts, to benefit companies that have been imperiled by the pandemic.
During this challenging time, we resolve to work even harder to make our region a leader of racial progress and economic equity.