HBS students collaborate with ABCDC to increase home ownership around campus

By Javier Justiniano

Buying a house in a “hot” market can be a daunting task. When a property becomes available in highly competitive locations, financial buyers usually get it before prospective owner-occupants. Investors can almost instantly secure financing and make a purchase, leaving individuals with no real chance of home ownership in the area. This results in neighborhoods with mostly leasing-occupants, with weaker community roots and involvement.

The Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation (ABCDC) is trying solve this problem for the areas around the Harvard Campus, through its “All Bright Homeownership Program”. This initiative is led by Michelle Meiser, and was developed in partnership with Harvard University, which provided $3 million of initial capital. ABCDC uses these and other funds to acquire properties before financial investors get them, and then re-sell them to families that are committed to live and stay in the area.

Two HBS students are also collaborating with ABCDC on this program, through the “Board Fellows Social Enterprise Club”. Sophia Brañes (HBS 18’, section H) and Arsalan Rauf (HBS 18’, Section G) have been working with the program since October 2016 to help develop a compelling marketing plan to increase awareness and understanding of the program among community members and prospective homeowners.

Many of the ideas from this collaboration have already been implemented, and ABCDC is confident on the long-term success of this program. More information about ABCDC and its programs can be found in http://allstonbrightoncdc.org/.

Javier Justiniano (HBS ’18) is an RC from Section H. Before HBS, Javier was a consultant at McKinsey & Co. and a senior manager at two investor-backed startups. On his free time, Javier loves to play guitar, watch movies, and travel around the world.