Julian Huff is investing in property for the greater good.
At age 16, Huff planned to own property in the near future. Due to his exposure to real estate and ownership growing up, he felt the idea was almost innate.
“I was able to learn a lot of that from my father,” Huff told AfroTech.
Setting out to accomplish his goal, Huff even downloaded an application to generate passive income. In December 2020, he was positioned to buy his first home while living in South Korea and taking college courses, so he started looking for the ideal location in Ohio, where he grew up.
The property he chose is located in Akron, OH, and though he intends to live in the home one day, he first plans to rent it to people of color in the underserved community.
“One research statistic that really stuck out to me was that Black home ownership is really low in the United States and actually it fell to a historic 60-year low. That alone really motivated and amplified me to get a property,” Huff explained.
He says he stumbled upon the Akron property while visiting LeBron James’ I Promise School. As AfroTech previously shared, James has invested in his hometown and recently established a job training facility to support students and their families by providing retail, dining, and event areas.
Huff, who is currently working for a communications firm in Washington, D.C., is pursuing a similar goal to transform communities in Ohio, though he is concentrating on the housing crisis, which is timely.
Mahoning Matters reports Ohioans are dealing with hiked rent prices and that the shortage of affordable and available housing options has gotten worse in the past year, increasing by 6 percent since a 2022 Gap report was released.
“Ohio is definitely in a housing crisis right now and people need places to live,” Huff said. “That’s just the reality and the problem is a lot of these households are fighting between, ‘Hey, am I gonna spend money on rent this month’ or ‘Am I gonna spend money on groceries?’ That shouldn’t be a problem.”
He continued: “So, I don’t plan to stop here. I want to keep acquiring more properties. I want to help raise that Black homeownership rate and good houses that are taken care of to people.”
Given the current state of Ohioans, Huff said he understands there will be even more work to be done to change the current landscape. So, he hopes to provide communities with information about programs and practices that can improve their living situation.
“My purpose in life is to be a servant and give back to others,” Huff expressed. “I think providing housing is one thing, but also educating people about the options they have to get a house and educating people about the options they have to reduce their rent. Too often I find that many people don’t know about FHA or USDA loans. They don’t know about these local and state programs to get a home or live at home, which is a problem.”
He added: “I would love to work with other leaders to eventually create a program where people are not only able to move into the homes that I own or other people own, but also learn about homeownership.”
Huff believes his new property will be finalized by the end of April, if plans go accordingly.