Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust has formed April Housing, a new portfolio company that will focus on affordable housing across the United States. The firm will provide solutions and capital to create and preserve affordable housing, including assets within its own portfolio.
April Housing’s portfolio will include the more than 90,000 units of affordable housing that were acquired by Blackstone following its purchases of American International Group in July 2021 and The Cornerstone Group in January 2022. The properties are in major markets around the country, including Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas; Denver; Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Los Angeles and San Francisco.
April Housing will be led by CEO Alice Carr, who starts her new position in May. Carr has more than 25 years of experience in affordable housing. Most recently, she served as head of JPMorgan Chase’s Community Development Banking, leading a team that financed the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low-income families and seniors around the country. Carr will oversee April Housing’s strategy and operations, aiming to advance Blackstone’s commitment to preserving and expanding the supply of affordable housing.
The newly formed company noted it intends to be a long-term holder of its affordable housing assets. The rents charged at nearly all April Housing properties are set by government regulation through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. The reduced rents at the firm’s assets have an average remaining term of about 20 years. April Housing intends to invest more than $500 million to improve its affordable housing properties while keeping them affordable.
This is the fourth major tactical move made by Blackstone within the multifamily sector in the past two months. The REIT has acquired three separate residential companies, adding more than 35,000 units to its multifamily portfolio. It purchased Bluerock Residential Growth REIT in late December, Resource REIT in late January and Preferred Apartment Communities earlier this month.
Blackstone’s multifamily portfolio totaled 133,000 units as of September 2021, comprising 50 percent of its assets. Industrial accounted for 28 percent in its most recent report. Blackstone’s real estate assets properties also encompass net lease, hospitality, data center, self-storage, office and retail properties.