Lake Charles native’s gentrification initiative looks to help longtime residents in Houston

Christopher Senegal

WeBuyBlack reported that Christopher Senegal recently acquired two blocks in Houston’s historic Fifth Ward, which is known for its African-American roots and dubbed Houston’s “Black Wall Street.”

Senegal, a Southern University graduate, started a new initiative called “Buy The Block” to help residents invest in their properties so they can stay in the neighborhood for the long term.

Senegal’s journey started back in 2013 when he purchased a block no one wanted due to issues with drugs and crime. He was turned down by 23 lenders before eventually receiving funding.

The young entrepreneur used crowdfunding so people could invest as little as $250 to own a piece of his company’s real estate portfolio.

The first project consists of 14 town-home developments worth $3.9 million focused on bringing Black professionals back to the neighborhood. Another development consists of 18 homes and two commercial buildings worth $1.3 million.

The Lake Charles native has managed to amass $700,000 through crowdfunding to protect his long-term, fixed-income residents from displacement.

Senegal said he hopes the new initiative will encourage others to invest in their communities rather than move out when they reach a higher income bracket.

By The Louisiana Weekly