PlaceKeepers helps to ethically reestablish OKC's eastside

Published Tuesday, May 31, 2022
by Erick Perry

Northeast Oklahoma City Renaissance (NEOKCR) has partnered with Urban Land Institute Oklahoma to establish PlaceKeepers. The program is geared towards providing real estate and small business developers with unique networks and mentorships to revitalize the city’s northeast side.

Networks, along with an Impact Investment Fund, help Black-led development projects offset the displacement often caused by gentrification by rebuilding from within the northeast community.

PlaceKeepers is an effort to allow community members to secure a stake in the wealth of redevelopment, and to provide quality housing to community members that remains accessible throughout the city’s recreation.

Although PlaceKeepers has not had any formal conversations with MAPS 4 committees, NEOKCR Board member, DeAndre Martin is hopeful that the program can be brought into discussions on the city’s affordable housing developments.

“MAPS 4 has $50 million to address affordable housing, and we think there is a tremendous opportunity to use these funds for programs like PlaceKeepers to not only build up community minded developers, but also address the affordable housing needs in northeast Oklahoma City. We have not been brought into those conversations yet but would love to be at the table, because we have many ideas.”

First launched in 2021, PlaceKeepers found success in their first cohort, with four of the first ten participants completing projects within the year, and others currently working to complete projects. The second cohort quickly followed with six additional projects completed.

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