Once a month, we sit down with a partner who is helping Lotus innovate and implement solutions that solve homelessness. This month, we’re proud to shine the brightest spotlight on Banyan Street Real Estate Fund (BSREF). BSREF is a majority women and minority-owned real estate firm focusing on investing in value-add real estate opportunities that produce strong risk-adjusted returns for its investors. This year, they’ve been pivotal in helping Lotus increase the pace and scale of its work. According to BSREF, Lotus provides one of the most cost-effective and successful models that they’ve seen for addressing transitional homelessness
Can you share a little about the history behind BSREF?
BSREF was founded about five years ago when the investment team acquired the private real estate business from EII Capital Management and spun-out. Based in New York, BSREF team has been working together for over 10 years (the co-fund managers for over 20 years) investing capital in US real estate with a focus on the sustainable renovation of workforce housing via funds and separate accounts. They have sponsored a series of funds since 2013 focused on this strategy, with Fund IV most recently launched this past Spring.
Why does BSREF care about engaging in issues like homelessness?
A core objective of BSREF ‘s multifamily funds are to provide sustainable, safe, and aﬀordable apartments to all segments of the population, including folks who have experienced some type of transitional homelessness. Over the years, BSREF has been able to eﬀectuate this mission by teaming up with partners like Lotus.
What's something you now know about housing and homelessness that was shocking to you?
Notwithstanding low unemployment rates for many years, we have witnessed the steady rise of transitional homelessness, reflecting individuals and/or families that have fallen on hard times due to a loss of a job.
If you wanted folks to know one thing about BSREF what would it be?
We can “do good and do well." We have been able to successfully contribute to tackling transitional homelessness while still providing our investors with a top 5% quartile performance as measured by Cambridge Associates and Preqin.
How did you come to know Lotus?
BSREF has worked with one of Lotus Campaign's cofounders, Phil Payne, for many years.
What's the top reason you all support Lotus Campaign?
Lotus provides one of the most cost-effective and successful models that we have seen for addressing transitional homelessness.
What's one thing you want everyone to do to engage more in this issue?
Continue to support Lotus’s efforts to expand into new markets.