Sharing Connexion exists to provide real estate resources, solutions, and support to nonprofits and affordable housing organizations.
Formed as a 501(c)(3) public charity in 2015, Sharing Connexion began with a passionate desire to use real estate skills to provide solutions for nonprofits and affordable housing organizations. Sharing Connexion’s Founder and Board President, Ed Anderson, established and remains the Chief Executive Officer for a for-profit real estate investment firm. Upon identifying other real estate professionals with extensive experience and complimentary desire to give back with their expertise and skills, the board of directors and advisory board were formed. With the Board of Directors’ combined 230+ years in real estate experience, the organization came highly equipped with the expertise for how best to serve this charitable community. The pursuit to identify and assist with real estate solutions for charitable organizations, especially affordable housing organizations, began. The leadership set out to develop a business model and programs based on the market it serves.
As members of the real estate and finance industries, the Board contemplated an important question early in its process. Colorado has a booming real estate market, but are the organizations serving vulnerable populations benefiting from this success? Or are they being left behind, or worse – pushed out? We found three key problem areas for charitable institutions, nonprofits, and affordable housing organizations:
Real Estate Donations
Many large charitable institutions frequently do not accept certain real estate donations or quickly sell and liquidate the property due to confusion or risk aversion in general, especially with leveraged real estate or properties with compliance issues. Since real estate investments and transactions are not a typical business function of nonprofits, identifying property improvements and increasing the value of a sale in order to build wealth for their charity is rarely considered.
Nonprofits need to access capital for their own real estate projects. Sometimes nonprofits have trouble accessing loans for building, purchasing or renovating projects, and need supplemental capital project funding beyond donation campaigns. For affordable housing nonprofits, real estate development enables their mission work. An influx of additional financial resources is needed to assist development and combat the current deficit of affordable housing units.
Nonprofits are often at-risk of displacement due to rising rents, creating a difficult environment for leasing space. While nonprofits are being gentrified, individual community members are also at risk for gentrification. There is deep concern for preserving affordable housing in threatened neighborhoods, both naturally affordable homes and multi-family properties with rent restricted units. According to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), “affordability restrictions on approximately 25,000 affordable rental housing units are set to expire in the next decade across Colorado” (2018). Upon expiration, these units may potentially return to the general market-rate rental stock, thus diminishing the current affordable stock and adding to a greater affordable housing deficit.