Blackstone forms new company to push affordable apartments


(Bloomberg) – Blackstone Inc. is forming a company to manage affordable housing investments as the company builds an operation to support a new strategic push.

The investment giant hires veteran lender Alice Carr to run the new company, called April Housing. Carr, previously head of community development banking for JPMorgan Chase & Co., will oversee an initial portfolio of 90,000 units, according to a statement released Wednesday.

Although Blackstone has long been a major landlord of apartments, it has recently focused more on the part of the US real estate market where rents are regulated by the government. In a major transaction, the company acquired about 80,000 apartments from insurer American International Group Inc., buying properties operated under the federal low-income housing tax credit program. income.

Virtually all units in April Housing’s initial portfolio are regulated under the program, which offers financial incentives to investors while limiting their ability to raise rents. Apartments will remain rent-limited for another 20 years on average, and Blackstone plans to keep properties affordable for the longer term, the statement said.

Read more: Blackstone to spend $1 billion to offer tenants reduced rents

Blackstone’s unlisted real estate investment trust, known as BREIT, has been central to the company’s affordable housing efforts. A typical private equity fund should return capital to investors after a specified period. BREIT, a fundraising juggernaut, provides Blackstone with perpetual capital, allowing it to hold properties longer.

The company said it chose the name April because it means “open up” and “aligns with Blackstone’s goal of forging new avenues to preserve and expand the supply of affordable housing.” April Housing plans to spend more than $500 million over the next decade to improve its apartment communities, according to the statement.

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