By Deja Boyd
Affordable Housing has been one of the many struggles for many people, but especially for lower income families. Even before the pandemic, many people — especially families on a fixed or low income — have lost or could not afford a decent home. New Era Entrepreneur Network Inc. helps close the gap between lower income families and affordable housing through their connections with the City of Tallahassee and private mentorships.
New Era Entrepreneur Network Inc. caters to all socioeconomic classes, but primarily focuses on the ones who are at the lower totem pole economically and socially. The mission behind the organization’s affordable housing mentoring is to provide safe and cost-efficient living for these people at a lower rate than most of its competitors.
Christopher Daniels, a political science professor at Florida A&M University and real estate investor, is using his platform to mentor and educate students and the community of Tallahassee about affordable housing issues that affect lower income families.
“The biggest challenge in the affordable housing market is trying to keep up with the demand of housing,” said Daniels. “What happens is people will want to make more money and maximize their returns, so they start by charging the highest level of rent if possible. We need more people who are trying to operate in the affordable housing range.”
Daniels owns approximately 15 living spaces in Tallahassee and Cincinnati, Ohio, combined. These living spaces range from 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartments starting at $650-$700 a month to multifamily homes and duplexes starting at $2,500 a month, which he says is about $100-$150 less than his competitors.
As one of the owners of New Era Entrepreneur Network, Daniels has begun to expose local residents and students to real estate, while also incorporating an affordable housing mentorship program for those interested in real estate and for those who are looking for an affordable place to call home.
Daniels was appointed in December 2020 as the affordable housing liaison for the city of Tallahassee’s Affordable Housing Committee. His job is to highlight the crippling issue of affordable housing for lower income families and to advocate for the housing needs for these families.
According to www.neighborhoodscout.com, “Tallahassee has a population of 194,500. There are 75,508 apartments and houses in Tallahassee. The average value of a home is $167,240. The median household income is $43,799. 26.7% individuals live below poverty level.” That’s approximately 51, 932 people who are living below the poverty level.
A lot of logistics go into home ownership and even renting a home that many do not understand. Banks usually determine an individual’s eligibility to borrow money to purchase a home based off of their credit score and credit history.
Poor credit and other logistics may not qualify these lower income applicants for decent housing. But if one’s credit score is not up to par or is non-existent, should they still be denied decent housing? Also, what does this mean for students who are looking for affordable off-campus housing in Tallahassee?
New Era Entrepreneur Network gives insight on the affordable housing options for lower income families and even students. The mentoring options in real estate will include affordable classes that will begin this summer.