Economic Housing Justice: A Conversation with Donovan Duncan In this episode, host David Ponraj has a no holds barred conversation with Donovan Duncan, Executive Vice President of Urban Strategies, Inc. They discuss USI’s place-based initiative that focuses on housing, people, and economic solutions. Donovan shares that having a strong sense of place and belonging is what makes a thriving community; it is the most central part of economic development. “Place is at the epicenter of all things, of all experiences, of transformation and change. It’s how people ground themselves in their identity.”  He also shares some staggering statistics around homelessness and the wealth gap.  Learn more about USI’s work in cities like Cleveland, which has a housing-first model with a goal of ending chronic homelessness by the year 2030 using an intentional, grassroots approach. They discuss fallacies around low-income housing, the good and bad of capitalism when it comes to equity, and the limited lens of credit scoring. Donovan also outlines his Big Hairy Audacious Goal for 2024, to incrementally lessen the wealth gap for African American households using a targeted, tracked and very specific method. An ambitious goal that can change the industry framework so that it meets the moment that we are in and creates opportunity for all. Connect with Donovan on LinkedIn: Email: Website:

About Breaking Down Barriers
This podcast explores the opportunity to build wealth in local, regional, and national economies through entrepreneurship-led economic development. Episodes feature changemakers with innovative approaches to empowering people to start businesses that create wealth for their families and improve outcomes for their communities. Conversations highlight work being done in communities across the U.S. to break down barriers to entrepreneurial opportunity in underserved and underrepresented communities. In this series, we share authentic stories about the impact that entrepreneurship-led economic development has on the local economy and connect a global network of passionate economic developers. 

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Breaking Down Barriers is a presentation of Economic Impact Catalyst and is hosted by David Ponraj with production and editing by Jacqui Dietrich and Lauren Bernard with voice talent by Antoine Long. Please rate, review, and subscribe to Breaking Down Barriers, available for free wherever you listen to your podcasts!

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