Multifamily Rentals Based Off Hotel Amenities
New ‘Homz’ Communities Apply Hotel Concepts to Rental Housing
Affordable housing — both in single-family home ownership and multi-family leased housing — has, without question, become a challenge for many people in this country. Low-to-moderate-income workers are finding it harder and harder to afford a place, and many are being priced out of markets altogether. A Dallas-based national housing company is adding a unique, wellness-based solution to multifamily rental housing called Homz.
Homz says they’re the first national housing company dedicated to addressing the shortage of attainably-priced rental housing units in the U.S. Each Homz community will feature four multifamily brands – UP, 24, NJOY, and LYF – that are designed to meet renters at each stage of their lives, along with a selection of build-to-rent single-family homes. UP and 24 target value seekers, while NJOY and LYF offer larger floorplans to accommodate roommates and growing families.
The company’s triple-bottom-line approach focuses on:
1. Sustainable development.
3. Public amenities.
Coming from a hospitality background, Dipika Patel, Managing Director of Homz, is applying that experience to helping folks find a nice home without mortgaging their entire future.
“I often wondered why nobody in residential considered using the model pioneered by Marriott, Hilton, and other hospitality brands – in which a standardized design and uniform layout unlock critical efficiencies – in multifamily development,” Patel told CandysDirt.com. “It occurred to me that in borrowing from the hospitality industry, we could help solve one of the biggest problems plaguing our country – the need for more attainable housing. By leveraging cost efficiencies, we can pass savings on to renters.”
This allows them to responsibly deliver a highly-amenitized lifestyle at an attractive price, yet still create public value that draws incentives from local governments.
The plan is for Homz to break ground on 50 communities over the next several years, expecting to invest between $140 million and $170 million per community as well as secure financing from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The company has initial agreements with 18 cities across the country, though the company has not publically disclosed them.
Homz will work in partnership with municipalities on incentives that make it possible to develop communities. It will then hold each investment for approximately 25 years, creating a close alignment of interests with each city.
CD: Where did the idea for Homz come from? Whose brainchild is it?
DP: My career in hospitality was the catalyst for me launching Homz. By leveraging the hospitality model, we intend to build a portfolio of sustainable, wellness-focused communities in tier-2 markets that all feature the same design, layout, and amenities.
I am very excited with all of the attention Homz has gotten thus far and the conversations we have been having with city officials. Having had the opportunity to travel all over the world, I understand the critical role quality housing plays in fueling socioeconomic advancement, and I see Homz as an important part of the solution to address the lack of optionality plaguing the “missing middle” – renters whose primary options are typically older-vintage Class B and C workforce housing.
CD: What cities does Homz have an agreement with so far?
DP: Given the confidential nature of our discussions with cities, we are not able to name those with whom we’ve signed agreements just yet. That said, what I can tell you is that we have agreements with more than 15 cities already and are deep in discussions with others who see a Homz community being a catalyst to attract additional investment to their area. For instance, the tier-2 cities we are targeting have traditionally been ignored by corporations in their expansion plans or individuals looking to raise families. We believe that by building our communities, we will attract educated and talented people to the area, offering an attractive workforce for businesses.
CD: What a unique name. Where did it come from?
DP: We wanted a name that resonated with home, where people are proud to live and raise a family. As we were brainstorming names, Homz just clicked. We felt people would immediately understand when they hear it, and it’s a little edgy and modern to resonate with younger generations that make up the majority of the nation’s renter base.
CD: How is Homz able to provide this kind of help?
DP: By working closely with local municipalities to secure incentives that make it possible to develop these communities on a lower-cost basis, we are able to transfer these cost savings to residents in the form of more affordable rental rates. In the cases that we are able to procure land from the cities themselves, we commit to owning and operating each asset for 25 years, thereby creating an alignment of interests contingent on continuous investment in placemaking and community building.
Other ways we seek to obtain land is by working with local landowners who are deeply invested in the community, helping them leverage their land to create lasting legacies that meaningfully impact their neighbors.
CD: What does it all mean?
DP: By standardizing the design and layout of each community and saving on land acquisition costs, Homz is able to invest more in the communities while continuing to ensure each unit is available at an attractive price point.
CD: How do people reach out to Homz for assistance?
CD: Why is Homz different than other affordable housing solutions?
DP: We believe that our model offers a win-win-win solution for cities, residents, and investors. For cities, we are committed to being long-term partners and building communities that act as catalysts for attracting new companies and people to the area. For residents, we are enabling them to live in a safe and secure environment with access to an abundance of resources and amenities – a lifestyle that has historically been reserved for high-income Americans.
And for the investment community, we provide an opportunity to contribute to the betterment of society and the livelihoods of many individuals and families without limiting their return potential.