UBUNTU – I Am Because We Are

Cinnaire is proud to launch the UBUNTU Equitable Access Fund in 2023. This fund will directly address social inequities in the communities we serve by providing capital, technical assistance, and mentorship to local developers of color. UBUNTU is Cinnaire’s first fund created to specifically address racial equity. It is important for every Cinnairean to understand what this fund is and why it is named, so we can respectfully and authentically communicate with prospective developers, board members, current partners or anyone who asks about the meaning of UBUNTU and the purpose of our fund. Our hope is that everyone at Cinnaire understands, respects, and promotes the fund and why we created it.

The Word UBUNTU: Meaning

The word UBUNTU originated in the Nguni language and is translated as humanity towards others. The fundamental concepts are respect, communalism, conciliation, and inclusiveness. Nelson Mandela speaks about our common humanity and the meaning of UBUNTU in this video.

The Purpose of the UBUNTU Fund

Affordable housing is often located in communities of color in the U.S., however, people of color represent just 2% of developers creating these communities. The most significant hurdles emerging BIPOC developers face are lack of access to capital and mentorship. UBUNTU addresses both of these issues by accelerating development capacity and wealth creation for BIPOC developers. Removing financial barriers and helping build the capacity and businesses of BIPOC developers means more opportunities to take on and scale projects which will leader to greater wealth for historically marginalized communities. Traditional underwriting guidelines for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financing and investment require a certain level of developer liquidity and net assets as mitigants against loan or investment losses. For BIPOC developers, generally, this can sometimes be a barrier to obtaining financing for LIHTC projects and often requires a partner to supply balance sheet support. UBUNTU has been structured to ensure that BIPOC developers genuinely have access to real estate financing by providing creative structures and interventions that address liquidity and guarantees where needed. The UBUNTU Fund will raise $60 million in investments to support seven projects with developers of color in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Click here to view additional details on Cinnaire’s UBUNTU Fund. For more information, please contact Donsia Strong Hill, Pamela Hetz or Matt Hodges