Steinbridge Group Founder and CEO Tawan Davis’ family roots have greatly influenced his passion for ensuring working families can become homeowners.
Davis recollects his family origins in an interview with AfroTech. Prior to moving to the Northeastern United States, his upbringing was spent in Portland, OR. He lived in the home of a widowed neighbor, Mrs. Georgia Smith, who rented to his single mother with a Section 8 voucher between the 1990s and early 2000s.
His great-grandmother and her two sisters, who had been sharecroppers, migrated from Arkansas, purchasing several homes in Northeast Portland, Oregon after the 1948 Vanport flood. They opened their doors to family and friends who were visiting the area, a gesture that Davis believes helped occupants generate wealth.
“It is clear to me that Mother Brock and her sisters tapped into a deep understanding,” Davis said in an email interview with AfroTech. “Today, a home is 30 – 40% of the net worth of the average American family, making it their most valuable asset and a critical part of wealth building. By providing a safe and stable place to live, the McMurry sisters helped families to walk the path out of poverty and to close America’s pervasive wealth gap.”
Today, Davis says the Northeast Portland homes are among some of the most gentrified zip codes in the area. According to Oregon Live, Portand was among the United State’s fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods in 2012.
“My extended family couldn’t afford to purchase the homes we grew up in, but my great-grandmother and her sisters would be rich,” Davis expressed.
Today, his family history plays a part in creating Steinbridge Group, a real estate investment and asset management company based in Philadelphia and New York. According to their company website and information provided to AfroTech, they are working to acquire and remodel homes to lease to middle class working families in major cities across the United States.
“Over the last 15-25 years America has rediscovered its urban center. Areas previously ignored and underdeveloped are now in high demand – creating domestic emerging markets but pushing many to the wayside. By investing in these areas, we could produce outsized returns for private capital while making a profound impact on families and communities. For us, investment and impact move together,” Davis said.
Additionally, Steinbridge Group promises homebuyers will never pay more than 30% of their income on housing. This is important as 70% of buyers leasing homes through Steinbridge Group are essential workers. According Brookings Institution, nearly half of the workforce are considered essential workers and their median wage totaled less than $15 an hour.
The Steinbridge Group hopes to build thousands of homes by injecting more than $2 billion. Within the next two years alone, Davis says their pipeline will expand from $450 to $500 million to $1.2 billion, which equates to 3,200 units.
Newly Launched Strategic Program To Increase Homeownership
“PNC Bank is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the country with $550 to $600 billion in assets. We officially launched our program with PNC in May of this year, and our work with them will ensure that our impact is felt throughout the region. We are focused on modeling a pathway here that builds on Philadelphia’s rich homeownership history, and then use the model to expand nationally,” Davis detailed.
PNC Bank will ensure there are loan officers working diligently to secure mortgage financing for homebuyers, while also creating learning opportunities to support their journey through financial education, down payment assistance, among other resources.
“Homeownership is a critical step in achieving financial wellness,” said Travis Branch, executive vice president, PNC Bank, in a news release. “As a national main street bank, PNC is committed to delivering capabilities that help clients achieve their financial goals. Serving as the preferred provider for these Steinbridge properties reflects that commitment and our focus on helping to strengthen the economic vitality of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.”