What if you could fight crime in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America? What if you could turn long-term renters into first time homebuyers? What if you could turn dilapidated buildings into owner occupied homes? What if you could do all of these at the same time?
With Kensington Renewal, you can. We take neglected, under-used properties, rehabilitate them and sell them at market value as owner-occupied homes, ideally to long-term renters from the neighborhood. We currently focus on the Kensington section of Philadelphia, with the intention to develop a model that is scalable and available for other neighborhoods and in other cities.
Crime rates and home ownership are directly linked. Increasing the number of owner-occupied properties in a neighborhood statistically decreases both violent and non-violent criminal activity. In a city like Philadelphia, with tens of thousands of abandoned homes, there’s plenty of blight – but we see it as a new opportunity.
Discriminatory bank policies, high closing costs, and insufficient training leave many potential home owners out of luck. We aim to to empower many long-term renters with the skills needed for home ownership through private mortgages, closing cost assistance, and ownership education programming. This assistance will both remove predatory lenders and save home owners money.
Vacant and neglected housing, or as we like to call them “Abandominiums,” are serious and negative draws on neighborhoods. Taking the worst properties, rehabilitating them and filling them with home owner families turns a significant negative influence into a positive one. As you can imagine, the more reclaimed properties in a neighborhood, the higher the benefit – both socially and economically.
How can you get involved? You can:
Invest: With as little as $10,000, your investment can help us purchase an “Abandominium,” while receiving a modest, yet meaningful rate of return.
Volunteer: Come down for a work day, we’d love to meet you! You can meet the neighbors, help us sweep the streets, and paint the future home. By volunteering, you’re becoming involved not just financially, but personally.