Choice Housing Investments – Promoting Positive Social Change
Choice Housing Investments (CHI) is a real estate investment firm, raising and deploying equity into multifamily real estate. Its investments can be categorized as impact investing, with a dual goal of promoting positive social changes in the communities in which it invests, while also delivering returns to investors. CHI accomplishes this goal through making investments in the multifamily space, primarily in affordable and/or workforce communities.
All of CHI’s investments to date have been with Vesta Corporation (Vesta) as its strategic capital partner. Vesta is a leader in the development, ownership and management of affordable housing communities. In addition to its expertise in affordable housing, Vesta has intentionally invested in improving the communities in which it is involved. Vesta has a passion for “doing well while doing good.” This takes many forms across Vesta’s portfolio, as illustrated by an event this past fall at Port Royal Apartment Homes, a Vesta property located in San Antonio, Texas, and in which CHI is invested.
Vesta acquired Port Royal in December 2019, and CHI provided the equity necessary to fund this acquisition and an associated value add rehabilitation plan. Prior to the acquisition, the property had underperformed with significant occupancy issues and neglect from the previous owner, as well as a history of crime. Vesta saw an opportunity to have a positive impact on the property in applying the strategies with which it has been successful over its history. Crime has decreased, occupancy has increased, albeit at a pace slower than had been projected prior to COVID-19, and now stands at 94%. Vesta’s property and Texas-based staff have worked to establish relationships within the City of San Antonio, both with the City’s government and with local resources.
In September 2020, this culminated in a Food Pantry Distribution event that was hosted at the property. The event was sponsored by City of San Antonio Council District 4 and the San Antonio Food Bank, and the San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Association was on hand to assist in the distribution. Boxes containing fruit, vegetables, bread, cereal, snacks and other staples were delivered to approximately 200 households. The local NBC affiliate aired a piece on their evening newscast about the property and the event; here is a link to that story and video.
Vesta has also worked to match residents that have been impacted by COVID with community resources that have been established to provide rental assistance during the pandemic. To date, this has resulted in nearly $500,000 in rent being paid on behalf of residents at six properties in which CHI has invested. Without this assistance, residents of these properties would have faced significant unpaid balances, which would have resulted in likely eviction and housing insecurity. With the hard work of the Vesta team and these community resources, residents were able to remain in their apartment homes and a main driver of uncertainty during the pandemic was addressed.