Groverton, a new start up out of New York, is seeking to make affordable housing partnership in Hudson County, New Jersey, and beyond, with an emphasis on having tenants eventually become homeowners.
“Groverton is a partnership program with housing authorities and non-profits and essentially what we’re doing is we’re providing more affordable housing opportunities for the low-income space in and around the New Jersey area,” company Founder and CEO Dustin Martelo said in a sit down interview.
“With COVID happening, we found a great opportunity to partner with local officials, local housing authorities, to give those that were hurt most a better chance at lower cost housing at even a chance at home ownership.”
Martelo then pointed out that they’ve recently presented a partnership to the Guttenberg Housing Authority, which will allow them to “infuse private capital” into the area so they can purchase homes for the low-income space on a monthly basis.
He also explained that this could be viewed as a pilot program for any other housing authority in the state.
“The ideal property is someone who really qualifies as a low-come individual: in the local area that’s 80 percent AMI, or area median income. To kind of talk about affordable housing in general right now, there’s always great things happening,” but continued that there is often a gap in programs in the “transitional space.”
” … They’re not necessarily the very extremely low-income: they’re working great jobs, they’re busy, they’re hard working individuals – they just can’t find an opportunity to earn equity in the properties where they reside.”
To that end, Groverton’s role is to purchase properties, after they’ve passed mandatory inspections, on tenants’ behalves, allowing them to acquire equity or ownership where they live.
Under this approach, tenants have the ability to become homeowners, whom Martelo says are typically 44 times wealthier than tenants according to recent research.
“What’s happening in our country really is the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and it’s a large disparity in wealth and actually it’s the largest its been in five decades,” Martelo noted.
“So where we come in is we’re infusing a new program to provide that capital where we allow properties to appreciate, just like they would in the private market, so that everybody at the end of the day – whether it be three years, five years, 10 years, makes a little more money.”
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