minimum investment: $1.00
Vacant homes to affordable housing in Baltimore
Community Redevelopment Fund, Inc. (CRF) was created in early 2018 to fund the redevelopment of abandoned, foreclosed and other distressed property in America’s inner cities.
CRF also plans to create public private partnerships to allow for more efficient deployment of capital for affordable housing initiatives. Towards this end, CRF has incorporated CRF Baltimore Affordable Housing, LLC, the developer and issuer of this offering (the “Company”), in order to acquire, renovate and resell abandoned and foreclosed inner city homes in Baltimore thereby creating new affordable housing for future occupants.
CRF believes affordable housing is a major catalyst for the stabilization and crime reduction of inner-city areas. In turn, reducing crime leads to a safer environment for the children and families in these communities. We have built strong relationships with government and non-profit entities in Baltimore, all of whom have the same goal – a desire to redeem old, high crime neighborhoods by the introduction of capital and the renovation of homes, allowing new occupants to purchase or lease affordable housing.
We intend to initially focus on a neighborhood in Baltimore known as Four by Four. The neighborhood was named Four by Four because it is a matrix of four roads by four roads, comprising 16 square blocks. According to City-Data, the community includes 807 homes, of which 745 were built before 1960 and 470 built before 1940.
Funding target: $1,000 – $500,000 by 1/16/2019
Regulation CF: Equity
Minimum investment: $1,000
The project’s Manager is Community Redevelopment Fund, Inc. (“CRF”), which is owned by Cleon Mitchell, CRF’s President and Jeffrey Villwock, CRF’s CEO. Cleon (Anthony) Mitchell, President, is visionary and co-founder of CRF. Born in Jamaica, his mother moved the family to the Washington DC area and instilled in Anthony the work ethic and belief system that allowed him to thrive. She provided him with a model of how a hard-working single parent can successfully raise a family in difficult circumstances. Anthony became a star athlete and was the full back for the University of Tennessee in 1992-1993. Post college, he was recruited into the financial services industry and has worked with high net worth individuals since. Most recently, he moved to Gainesville, GA, a northern suburb of Atlanta, to join CRF’s other co-founder, Jeffrey Villwock, at Lanier Securities LLC, a FINRA member broker/dealer.
Anthony studied International Economics and Psychology at the University of Tennessee. Jeffrey Villwock, CEO, is a long-time veteran investment banking executive and co-founder of CRF. Anthony approached Jeff with his vision on how to transform communities in Baltimore, and potentially in other cities around America. Jeffs responsibility is to provide the operational support for Anthonys vision to be realized. Mr. Villwock is also the founder and CEO of Lanier Securities. His career in financial services began in 1976 and he has twice been recognized as a Wall Street Journal All-Star Analyst. He has completed over $2.5 billion in transactions in his career. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Applied Studies in Economics from Southern Methodist University.
The city of Baltimore, like many other cities in the Northeast & Midwest, has struggled to provide safe, affordable housing. High unemployment and crime rates have resulted in many blighted communities with a large number of vacant homes. According to the Baltimore Sun there are 16,500 vacant buildings in the city. The Company has been introduced to several non-profit organizations whose mission is to provide affordable housing, mostly to first time home buyers.
The Federal and State government has provided loan assistance and incentives to banks to provide mortgages in these difficult neighborhoods. Buyers in some programs go through a personal finance course which teaches prospective home owners about the process of purchasing a home, the basics of mortgage financing and some of the skills needed to be successful as a home owner. Once through the course, the buyers are certified, and banks are ready to lend. The limiting factor in getting new home owners into homes is the lack of suitable housing stock. For a bank to underwrite a mortgage, the home must be either ready for occupancy, or ready for the final renovation of adding kitchen cabinets, appliances and bath vanities. Yet to take a home from foreclosure or vacancy through the fix up requires capital, and non-profits generally do not have the capital for this first step in creating a renovated housing inventory.
The neighborhoods that the Company intends to invest in are difficult neighborhoods, generally with a high crime rate, and relatively high unemployment. The Four by Four neighborhood, where the Company will begin its activities, is a good example of typical statistics for these neighborhoods. You can review relevant statistics for crime, housing and demographics in the Four by Four neighborhood at Trulia.
The Company seeks neighborhoods that have active non-profit organizational support and the support of a community that wants to improve the local neighborhood. Working with these governmental and non-profit organizations, the Company believes its activities in using capital to provide quality homes for buyers will lead to an overall improvement in crime, employment and neighborhood stability. The Company is working on developing relationships in many neighborhoods on the east side of Baltimore.