By Jeffrey Steele
Enterprise Homes has acquired more than 4,100 units in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia and will keep the properties affordable.
The portfolio was acquired from The Shelter Group and consists of 4,153 apartments situated in 43 quality properties financed through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. The transaction is the result of a contract signed by Shelter Group and Enterprise Homes in September 2016, and the closing took place on August 1. The acquisition tripled the properties owned by Enterprise Homes, while increasing the Enterprise staff by approximately 175 employees.
“Enterprise Homes was very familiar with the high quality of The Shelter Group’s portfolio of properties and the acquisition created an opportunity for Enterprise to preserve and continue affordability for seniors, families and others in need of affordable homes,” Enterprise Homes president and CEO Chickie Grayson told MHN. “The geographic locations, its excellent property management group and the alignment with our mission made this an exceptional opportunity. Enterprise has the commitment and operational-financial capacity to make this purchase possible.”
Seniors at risk
Seventy-five percent of the residents in the portfolio Enterprise Homes acquired are seniors. Housing preservation for older adults is particularly crucial. Most states do not fund such preservation, and scant levels of new construction have occurred in recent years. Finally, the population of seniors is expected to more than double to 98 million within the next 43 years, according to the Administration for Community Living.
The portfolio was in excellent condition and located in the same geographic area as Baltimore-based Enterprise Homes, the Mid-Atlantic, according to Grayson.
“Enterprise Homes is a ground-up developer and is very familiar with the architects and general contractors that built the Shelter properties,” she said. “There were double-digit bidders and we were determined to get this opportunity. Given the geographic proximity, we are a well-known organization in the region and share many of the same relationships in the private and public sectors. In addition to pricing, our ability to execute and make this happen was, we hope, a motivating factor for the sellers.”
The nation faces growing housing insecurity hurdles. Nearly 19 million low-income families are homeless or paying at least half their monthly income on housing. The goal of Enterprise Homes is to end housing insecurity in the U.S. within a generation. Growing the supply of affordable homes through new construction and the preservation of existing properties is at the heart of any serious solution to housing insecurity. The company sees its acquisition of The Shelter Group’s affordable housing portfolio as a dramatic step in ensuring the affordability of thousands of homes.
Enterprise Homes plans to continuously preserve the affordability of the portfolio’s 43 properties. In so doing, the company will provide residents with stable and affordable rental homes over the long run.
“There was a significant amount of competition and making the numbers work was critical to our success,” Grayson said.