Mike Epps and his wife Kyra are breaking the generational curse of losing family homes to gentrification! The couple opened up about Mike’s journey of buying homes on his Indianapolis childhood block. Now, they’re renovating the homes together to keep ownership in the family!
Mike Epps & Kyra Wanted To Continue Legacy In Indianapolis Neighborhood
In an Essence exclusive, Mike Epps said he started buying back his block about 20 years ago. The renovations stalled, though, until he married Kyra and showed her his projects. They currently own six homes on the block.
“I bought one house 20 some years ago [that his grandmother lost], and I just started adding on, and I chipped away at it. I didn’t completely finish the houses because they were in gentrified neighborhoods,” Mike told the outlet. “They were in neighborhoods that weren’t completely revitalized. Then I met my wife. We got married. I showed her the houses, and she was like, ‘No, no, no, no. This ain’t going to work.’ It needed a woman’s touch.”
Kyra said Mike Epps had secured the properties for “little to nothing” due to the area being “crime-ridden” with high drug access and use. In recent years, though, the economy in the neighborhood has changed, Kyra said. Instead of selling off their properties, they decided to make the neighborhood their home base.
“We didn’t want to leave the legacy, and so we started knick-knacking a little bit at each property, and pretty soon, before we knew it, we were like, ‘We can do this. We can make this a good thing.’ But when I did see them originally, they were still great. They were fantastic. Mike did such a beautiful job. You could tell it came from his heart,” Kyra said.
During the pandemic, Mike suggested they pitch their renovations journey to a network. They had Kyra’s 12 years as a producer and Epps’ entertainment connection, and after a phone call, they ultimately landed an HGTV special. Their series “Buying Back The Block” debuted on Nov. 8.
Mike & Kyra Wanted To Continue Legacy In Indianapolis Neighborhood
Mike Epps and Kyra wed in 2019 and have two children together, Mike Jr. and Indiana Rose. Mike is also father to four daughters named Madison, Moriah, Makayla, and Bria.
Kyra told Essence their show is about much more than design or typical renovations. It’s about “family” and “Black people owning properties and keeping it in the family for 60-plus years.”
“I watched it change a lot, and now it’s coming back to what it was in the beginning, and like I said, Black people were thriving back then. But of course, when the drug trade came, it tore our neighborhoods up,” Mike Epps said. “So when I started buying the houses back again, that was the aftermath of all of that that happened, so now we’re trying to bring it back. We want to make sure we inspire our own because we want our own to be able to enjoy the revitalization of this neighborhood and community.”
The married couple also repeatedly highlighted how much they rely on each other to see their vision through!
For Mike Epps, the project is also in dedication to his mother, who passed away in 2020. He revealed she loved interior decorating during an interview on “The Jennifer Hudson Show.”