Fairstead commits $100 million to Proptech | Housing Finance Magazine
Fairstead, a leading developer and owner of affordable housing, announced a $100 million commitment to invest in proptech startups and bring cutting-edge technology to its properties and residents.
“The creation of Fairstead Ventures advances our commitment to fundamentally changing standards in the housing industry, particularly at the intersection of sustainability and affordability,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, CEO of Fairstead. “Using our capital and expertise in private equity and venture capital, we will bring innovative solutions to affordable housing across the country.”
The initiative calls for the deployment of technology across Fairstead’s affordable housing portfolio, which is on track to grow to more than 30,000 units over the next year, officials say. The new effort will focus on decarbonization, energy and sustainability improvements.
Aki Karja, director of proptech for the company, was tapped to deliver on Fairstead Ventures’ vision to sustainably modernize aging affordable housing stock with the latest technology solutions while creating new state-of-the-art developments. Fairstead Ventures will act as a strategic investor by piloting innovative products and services and developing new and proven technologies at the enterprise level.
“For too long, affordable housing has been underserved in technology, although the impact could be immense,” Karja said. “I will be looking for new, innovative startups to invest in and pilot in our properties, as well as venture capital firms to partner with and co-invest with, to green our communities and improve the health of our residents. I am honored to work with the Fairstead team to ensure affordable housing benefits from advances in the technology industry and brings our leadership team’s vision to life.
Fairstead Ventures has begun mobilizing a portion of its funds toward innovative pilot programs and strategic partnerships. It has entered into a strategic partnership with Enviro Power, a Hartford, Connecticut-based energy technology company, to develop and deploy its SmartWatt Boiler cogeneration technology. Additionally, through a partnership with Kwant AI, Fairstead deployed an AI security and productivity platform while redeveloping Park 79, a gated hotel it acquired and converted into affordable housing for seniors. on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
The launch of Fairstead Ventures is part of Fairstead’s $500 million equity commitment announced last fall to strategically expand the company’s operations, including expanding its multi-family housing portfolio and enhancing development programs. proptech, sustainability and community impact of the company.