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3H Properties claims it is keeping housing affordable in perpetuity

3H Properties is a new developer of affordable housing in Vancouver that aims to partner with non-profits across the country to build and maintain 100% affordable properties. With satellite offices in Saskatoon and Hamilton, their first project is at 405 Main Street in Hamilton (a 7-storey building with 12 two-bedroom units, 77 one-bedroom units, and 7 studios). They also operate a Real Estate Investment Trust with the goal of acquiring non-profit properties and converting them to affordable housing types, then leasing them back to the non-profits (https://www.3hproperties.com/reit). They also aim to use the REIT to build new housing, e.g. assisting municipalities build employee housing, hotel conversions, or conversions of non-profit housing. Whether this is actually an equitable REIT, aims to keep its housing affordable in perpetuity, and avoids renoviction of tenants, remains to be seen. The focus on conversion is cause for speculation here.

Today 3H co-founders Alfredo Hermano and Praveen Varshney, and planner/real estate developer Johnathan F.P. Rose hosted a webinar on the preservation of affordable housing. All three argued that there is simply insufficient funding for new affordable housing construction from federal governments in the US and Canada, so preservation is simply the fastest and easiest option. Johnathan Rose Companies aims at preservation of affordable housing for people making 30-60% of the Area Median Income in American cities: residents pay a maximum of 30% of their income towards housing. They use the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit if the properties require substantial renovations (e.g. capital improvements of $50,000 or so per unit), but otherwise they use investment funds to finance acquisition and greening of the buildings. Their projects include Via Verde, an affordable and mixed-income housing project in South Bronx.

Both 3H Properties and Johnathon Rose Companies are worth keeping tabs on as they develop and hopefully preserve affordable housing units.



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