Cinnaire Community Connection

Cinnaire Community Connection

Cinnaire is a CDFI partner that creates opportunities for people in need by seeking out and developing partnerships with mission-focused organizations and investors, and by deploying capital and expertise to foster community-driven revitalization, particularly in underserved areas.

We are working with local community-based organizations in key areas within our footprint–taking a comprehensive approach to help them advance their multifaceted neighborhood revitalization plans, advocating and supporting equitable development by: 

  • Advancing economic opportunity and ensure community members are primary beneficiaries
  • Supporting local leadership in implementation and management of the work
  • Preserving and expanding affordable housing solutions for all
  • Understanding and responding to local context with respect for local history and culture.
  • Developing healthy and safe communities in alignment with local planning efforts


Focus Areas

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is a great post-industrial city with disinvested neighborhoods and too many households in generational poverty due to redlining and segregation. Cinnaire has been investing in Detroit since our founding. We opened our first office in the City in 1998 and we have remained rooted with an on-the-ground presence since. We have over $620M in total investments, creating or preserving nearly 6,000 units/homes.

Projects are selected deliberately, to reverse historic under- and dis-investment by providing access to capital; stabilize and revitalize communities through the creation and preservation of mixed-use development and affordable housing; and build sustainable community leadership through community development capacity building.

We have partnered with like-minded organizations to advance empowering initiatives including: the Power of a Permanent Address program, WE Build / BIPOC Developer Support, NextGenNow, McDougall Hunt and CDO Co-Development.

Wilmington, Delaware

The City of Wilmington, once a diverse and thriving hub in Delaware has faced severe challenges over the past decades. With significant disinvestment along commercial corridors and limited private investment, the City has the highest poverty rate in the state (22% vs. 8.2% statewide) and high unemployment rate (11.7% vs. 5.7% statewide), As a result, residents struggle to find affordable housing. There were over 1,500 vacant/blighted properties primarily located in three marginalized neighborhoods – Westside, Eastside and Northeast, resulting in low property values and increased crime. 

Cinnaire has taken a comprehensive approach to community development by working with local community-based organizations to help them advance their multifaceted neighborhood revitalization plans. We are focusing on three strategies to revitalize the City: Neighborhood stabilization by restoring residential areas; Investing in community facilities and increasing access to health food; Increasing local developer capacity; and Strengthening the capacity of local community-based organizations. 

Listen to Sherita Smith, Dionna J. Sargent and
Tomyra Raiford explain how Cinnaire Community Connection is working to bring equitable development, economic opportunities and impact investment to disinvested communities.

Detroit Priority Neighborhoods
Wilmington Priority Neighborhoods
Map of Wilmington DE


Detroit Initiatives

Wilmington Initiatives

Power of Permanent Address

Developed a best practice model to increase and sustain homeownership for low-income families.

Partnered with 5 CBOs, 5 Private partners and 5 public agencies to transition more than 50 families to homeownership in the first 2 (???) years. 

WE Build/BIPOC Developer Support

Provide mentorship and capital to black and women-led borrowers to accelerate the fundability, stability and growth of the real estate businesses we seek as partners.  The benefit will be the increased capacity and diversity of the community development ecosystem.

Provided credit facilities $500,000 to lend to black women developers during 2020 – 2023.

Next Gen Now

Increase exposure to community and real estate development for Detroit high school students.

Provide paid work-based learning opportunities to 10 DPSCD high school students 2020-2023

McDougall Hunt

Support movement of near middle / tipping point neighborhoods to middle

CDO Co-Development

Co-Develop with emerging CDO’s to build their capacity. Stabilize neighborhoods by advancing community driven plans

Jumpstart Wilmington

Jumpstart Wilmington was launched to help Wilmington residents to become developers of their own neighborhood through quality, community-focused real estate development training and financing options. Participants enroll in a 14-hour training session covering nine key development topics.

Complementary mentoring and networking  programs are offered, as well as a loan program to provide financing for acquisition and renovation of residential and commercial mixed-use properties in Wilmington neighborhoods.

In its first two years, Jumpstart Wilmington provided training for over 60 aspiring developers, setting them on the path to being successful agents of change in their neighborhoods. 

Equitable Wilmington

Cinnaire partnered with NCALL Loan Fund and True Access Capital to form the Equitable Wilmington CDFI Collaborative, created  to promote inclusive growth in Wilmington’s West, East and Northeast neighborhoods and stimulate economic opportunity and mobility. Equitable Wilmington provides lending resources and technical assistance for transformative projects such as building affordable housing, community facilities, and supporting small businesses in these key neighborhoods.

This Collaborative is supported by JPMorgan Chase through its PRO Neighborhoods initiative.

Success bullet 

For more information on our Cinnaire Community Connection Program, contact:
headshot for Sherita Smith

Dionna J. Sargent

Vice President, Community Development, Wilmington

Sherita Smith

Vice President, Community Development, Detroit