When Multifamily Gives Back to Local Communities

Elizabeth Polanco of The Gotham Organization on humility, charity work and how the industry can do more for those in need.

Elizabeth Polanco, General Manager, The Gotham Organization
Elizabeth Polanco, General Manager, The Gotham Organization. Image courtesy of The Gotham Organization

Many real estate companies have made a habit of donating to charities that help those in need in the communities they serve. Whether it’s money or time, each contribution is making an impact. In the past couple of years, the pandemic limited or even shut down many face-to-face charitable activities, but companies found other ways to help those most affected by the COVID-19 disruption.

“Real estate services the community, so in that sense, we are community stewards. When you view the role of real estate in that way, it’s easier to understand why philanthropy and community care is such an important pillar in this industry,” The Gotham Organization General Manager Elizabeth Polanco told Multi-Housing News Senior Editor Laura Calugar in the April episode of the Mission Success: Women in Multifamily podcast series.


READ ALSO: When Community Comes First in Multifamily Development


Polanco’s family is from the Dominican Republic, and although she is a first-generation American, her father made sure to expose her not only to the best the Caribbean Island had to offer, but also to areas where poverty was tangible. She got to experience the feeling one gets when doing good from early on, and that shaped her altruistic behavior. Now, Polanco volunteers regularly and donates her time to organizations that serve those in need across New York communities.

She has been in the real estate industry since 2004, overseeing the operational and financial health of more than 3,000 units. Currently, she leads the day-to-day operations of the Gotham portfolio in Manhattan and continues to be a trailblazer for women in the real estate industry.

Here’s what you’ll hear about in this episode:

  • How Polanco got into charity work (0:55)
  • Causes she supports (4:45)
  • Why time is the real asset when it comes to helping others (5:30)
  • Involving residents in charitable causes (8:55)
  • The pandemic’s impact on the real estate industry’s charity actions (12:35)
  • Why real estate companies shouldn’t hesitate to boost their philanthropic actions (13:43)

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