Greystone Teams Up With HAND to Increase Financing Options for BIPOC Developers

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Greystone is partnering with the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) to launch a new Equity in Action partnership aimed at boosting affordable housing real estate investments in minority communities throughout the mid-Atlantic region, Commercial Observer has learned.

The initiative will involve real estate developers from the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities, who will gain direct access to Greystone’s debt and equity platforms for affordable housing construction, refinancings, recapitalizations and acquisitions.

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“Greystone is executing on its commitment to help reduce barriers to accessing capital for communities of color and beyond, and we are hyper-focused on bringing the benefits of our debt and equity solutions to groups that need them most,” Steve Rosenberg, founder and CEO of Greystone, said in a statement.

As HAND’s first financing partner, Greystone will offer guidance for the creation and preservation of multifamily housing and community development projects.

Additional resources to HAND’s membership base include strategic commercial real estate portfolio reviews, restructuring advisory services, and expertise on Low Income Housing Tax Credits or bond financing solutions for affordable housing.

“HAND’s membership is aligned with our own mission to preserve and create desperately-needed affordable housing, and we are thrilled to create a direct access point for them to benefit from finance and advisory services to help achieve their goals,” Rosenberg added. “We hope this partnership with HAND serves as a model to creating access to financing for other BIPOC commercial borrower communities nationwide.”

Greystone and HAND officials noted that the Equity in Action partnership would focus heavily on the Washington, D.C., area, where there is a distinct lack of affordable housing options. According to HAND’s recently launched Housing Indicator Tool, the D.C. region created only 12 percent of the new affordable units that the Urban Institute says are needed by 2030 in order to meet demand.

“Right in D.C., and in surrounding Maryland and Virginia, the affordability crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic and economic setbacks,” Heather Raspberry, executive director of HAND, said. “Add to this that black and brown real estate developers are still met with the obstacle of basic access to the capital needed to execute their plans to revitalize communities.”  

Greystone is in the midst of ramping up its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, recently hiring Managing Director Pranika Sinha to lead DEI efforts. 

“We are pleased to partner with Greystone to offer a membership benefit designed to increase opportunities for the BIPOC community, as well as increase awareness and education of the options available to the institutional market,” Raspberry added.