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How Virginia Rawlins is working
to spark revitalization in Albany
neighborhoods

DONNA ABBOTT-VLAHOS | ALBANY BUSINESS REVIEW Virginia Rawlins is the founder of
Building Blocks Together.

"I think people see the house, whether it’s a $150,000 home, turnkey, multifamily or especially land bank property, it’s overwhelming. There’s a lot of hidden steps you have to get through before looking at this property or with the land bank, applying for these properties." -VR

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How can Albany bridge its racial wealth gap? Residents, experts offer solutions

Virginia Rawlins is pictured on First Street on Monday, May 10, 2021, in Albany, N.Y. Rawlins is the founder of a real estate company that aims to increase homeownership among people of color in the city. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron/Times Union

“You can do this,” Rawlins recalled telling one woman who wanted to buy a house but found herself fixated on the systemic barriers that made it difficult. "It's possible." - VR

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Building Blocks Together founder helps people buy homes

Virginia Rawlins stands outside the Arbor Hill Library on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in Albany, N.Y. Virginia, who works with people to help them buy their first homes, has held homebuyer workshops at the library. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

"It's a fact Albany has the second-biggest gap between white and Black home ownership in the country - 68.9% compared to 20.1%. Only Minneapolis has a bigger gap. Another New York city, Buffalo, has the third-largest gap. Seeing the Legislature finally acting makes me feel both optimistic and frustrated." - VR

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Albany Land Bank Offers Pathway to Home Ownership

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“Let them know that it is possible to get in early and not wait for gentrification to see the value in their neighborhoods,” - VR

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