The pandemic has driven growth in affordable housing demand, but has also created opportunities to augment supply. The distressed asset market, it turns out, is a goldmine of opportunities for adaptive reuse into affordable and workforce housing. Developer Repvblik has already built a pipeline of redevelopment projects, including transforming a Days Inn hotel into a 341-unit affordable property in Branson, MO. The development is the largest affordable project to be developed without federal funding or tax credits.

Discounted distressed assets help make affordable deals—which are notoriously challenging—pencil. “A lot of these asset classes had PPP loans and other federal programs that allowed owners to kick the can down the road,” Richard Rubin, CEO of Repvblik, tells “When it comes to a lot of these programs, they eventually run out of runway. For the properties that don’t have a discernable path forward, there is going to be a lot of lender-owned stock available. It is very clear to see what is happening, and I think a lot of the distress is going to be a bridge for the housing.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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