NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The city of Norfolk has been selected to participate in the CityStart initiative with a focus on racial wealth equality with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, according to officials.

CityStart is part of a suite of investments from Bloomberg Philanthropies whose goal is to promote financial stability among U.S. residents. Their latest initiative is designed to help local leaders develop and implement proven strategies to help families and communities become more financially stable.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, which specializes in the acceleration of Black wealth accumulation, is helping Citystart perfect the design and execution of their new program, which is meant to create racial wealth equality.

The city of Norfolk’s Department of Housing and Community Development, with the help of the CFE Fund, will craft its municipal financial empowerment blueprint based on the financial needs of mostly Black residents; key administration priorities; and partnership opportunities.

Development of the blueprint will be informed by a series of key stakeholder meetings, all of which will focus on centering residential needs, as well as identifying opportunities to address the racial wealth and assets gap, facilitate intergenerational wealth transfer, and build resident, family, and community financial stability. This work will follow the recommendations of the Mayor’s Commission on Social Equity and Economic Opportunity and the 2022 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing to improve economic opportunities for black residents, as according to officials.

“We recognize the importance of meeting the economic security needs of our residents,” said Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer. “Working with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund will help as we continue to identify strategies to address the racial wealth gap, facilitate intergenerational wealth transfer, and build individual, family and community financial stability.”

The city of Norfolk is part of the fifth cohort of CityStart partners for the CFE Fund, and the second cohort of CityStart partners to focus on racial wealth equity strategies; these eight new local government partners join thirty-two localities to date that have already completed the CityStart financial empowerment public blueprint process.

The CityStart initiative draws on the CFE Fund’s extensive, nearly decade-long work with local government leaders in over 100 cities and counties to improve families’ financial lives by connecting critical on-the-ground insights about the impact of financial instability on families, communities, and municipal budgets with tangible, measurable, and sustainable municipal strategies.