Donor Spotlight: Kevin Bynoe

Kevin Bynoe’s career in affordable housing began while still in high school, then steadfastly moved his way to the top. Kevin is a partner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UHM Properties.

Kevin’s career in affordable housing began while still in high school and continued as a construction laborer early in his career. In 1987, Kevin started his professional career in the housing industry as a maintenance supervisor; he then progressed through the ranks until he joined the executive team who formed UHM. There are seven UHM partners of which four are retired.

Kevin attended Central State University where he majored in Management. He has received Boston University’s Certificate in Real Estate Finance, the Registered Housing Manager (RHM) designation from the National Center for Housing Management, his Low Income Housing Tax Credit C12P certification form Spectrum Enterprises and completed the Minority Property Management Executive Program at MIT.

We spoke with Kevin about the ways community development corporations (CDCs) help build stronger communities.

How were you first involved with Dorchester Bay?

UHM Properties involvement with Dorchester Bay began with the Quincy Heights project. The partnership was formed to restore and improve the property that was formerly known as Woodledge, and it turned out to be a successful development program. We felt that Dorchester Bay’s positive reputation in terms of their service to the community made it a good fit for us to build together as partners. Quincy Heights was such a great development opportunity and so successful, which I believe was due to the care and compassion from both sides of the deal.

UHM has partnered with Dorchester Bay on development projects, and you’re also a donor. What aspects of DBEDC’s mission motivated you to go beyond a business partnership to directly support our work?

I support Dorchester Bay personally and also with UHM because of the holistic approach to serving the community. Through the Resident Initiatives Community Organizing (R.I.C.O.), the resident services go beyond organizing; it is also teaching self-sufficiency. What impressed me the most is the work in the community is the empowerment of residents by promoting leadership and activism, assisting formerly incarcerated individuals gain skills and find employment, and the support of minority-owned businesses to grow and prosper.

Is there anything in particular that you’d want people to know about you or UHM that they might not be aware of or might be surprised to know?

As a property management and real estate developer, UHM focuses on giving back to the community by providing services to residents and the community at large. Fifteen years ago, we founded a nonprofit organization Neighborhood Network Center (NNC) that offer programs and services in youth development, senior services, and stabilization and self-sufficiency.  Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Summer Program is one of the youth programs started five years ago with an enrollment of 25 children and now serves 200 children. The newly launched Golden Academy is an aging in place program which allows seniors to remain in their apartments and receive stabilization services as they age. We support stabilization and promote self-sufficiency through workshops and training including English as a Second Language (ESL) and GED classes

From your perspective, why are community development and organizations like Dorchester Bay an important resource to the communities they serve?

Everybody deserves a chance or an opportunity, but how do you get someone ready, so they are prepared to take advantage of opportunities? Dorchester Bay addresses that challenge through the programs it offers and the delivery of services by staff who truly care about building stronger, healthier communities. That is truly special and what connects UHM to Dorchester Bay.