Ken Weinstein

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Ken Weinstein, center, developed trainers for a program to introduce less experienced developers to real estate development.

— SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has partnered with Jumpstart Philly on an initiative to rehabilitate houses and offer affordable homeownership.

Jumpstart Philly, a community development program spearheaded by Germantown-based developer Philly Office Retail, provides training, mentoring, networking and financial resources to local aspiring developers.

The houses rehabbed through the partnership will be sold to people whose incomes are less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), which is about $62,000 for a family of four. Participants in PHA’s homeownership program will have the first opportunity to buy the homes.

“We are thrilled to enter this partnership that will stimulate reinvestment in neighborhoods that need it,” PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah said in a news release.

“This cooperative effort will increase the capacity of local residents to improve their communities by providing affordable homeownership opportunities while mitigating the effects of gentrification.”

The Jumpstart Training Program introduces less experienced developers to real estate development, including property sourcing, due diligence, financing, design and construction and leasing and selling. Upon graduation, participants are paired with an experienced mentor to guide them through their first few development projects.

“We are really excited to partner with PHA on this anti-blight project geared toward providing affordable homeownership. It is a true win-win,” said Jumpstart Philly Founder Ken Weinstein.

“By helping local residents, who graduated from a Jumpstart Training Session, get started with real estate development, we can help keep wealth local and improve the neighborhoods in which we live.”

The partnership will start with 10 PHA properties in need of full renovation. Weinstein has toured the sites and deemed them feasible for renovation and resale. Jumpstart Philly grads will purchase each property for $10 and use the Jumpstart Philly Loan Program to renovate the property.

Jumpstart Philly will use a lottery system to choose 10 Jumpstart graduates so they can submit a full loan application to purchase a PHA property. Eligible participants in the lottery are mentees who have completed the Jumpstart Training Program, which could include PHA residents. If the application meets all program criteria, the project will move forward. Loan recipients are asked to provide 15% of the equity needed to complete the project and do not need a minimum credit score.

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