Daryl J. Carter, March ’81, SM ’81 grew up in the 60s and 70s in the predominantly black neighborhood of Core City, west of Detroit, when redlining practices that reinforced isolated housing were still common. The Federal Housing Authority and private banks have denied low-interest loans to buyers in such neighborhoods, reinforcing economic hardship for generations. Some black people were still able to buy a house, but the majority were forced to rent.
Despite a popular belief that black communities were less stable, Carter saw the power of Core City. He notes that everyone in the neighborhood has a role to play: keeping an eye on the neighbors’ children or helping adults maintain their independence. These observations inspired him as chairman and CEO of Abanath Capital Management, where he and his partners focused on transforming the affordable housing sector. At present, Abanath owns more than 60 properties in 13 states. Most of its 12,000 apartments are targeted for tenants earning 40% to 80% of the area’s middle income, many of whom are eligible for Category 8.
Chapter 8 Housing Choice Vouchers are the federal government’s largest program to help low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities afford decent, safe, and healthy housing in the private market. Vouchers cover up to 70% of the rent. “There’s a myth that Section 8 housing is a risky investment,” Carter said. “Data does not support this.”
Carter says Abanath’s focus on providing services and amenities that are not uncommon in affordable housing contributes to both his goals and ongoing financial success. For example, the company created a free app that residents can use to report maintenance issues. “That way we can respond directly,” he says. “By doing this, we not only protect our investment, but we build trust and community with our residents.”
“Our strategy is to look at the footprints of the entire community outside the building space,” Carter continued. “We want our residents to have access to public transport, grocery stores and healthcare. Some of our properties have an outpatient clinic on the first floor. When covid vaccines became available, residents only had to take a lift to take shots. “
Carter says MIT helped him along the way এবং and “not just because of the knowledge I gained in finance and architecture. I had classmates who inspired me to dream big, and MIT invested me in a fellowship,” he says. “I am delighted to be able to provide that money by investing in housing for criminals and building a better world.”