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“We are Business, Men” JAY-Z and Will Smith to help low-income renters become homeowners


A startup that helps renters build credit until they can buy a place is raising $165 million from a group of investors that includes Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC.

JAY-Z and Will Smith are combining their financial support behind Landis Technologies, a startup company that intends to make homeownership a possibility for low-income families. The company purchases homes and rents them to clients until they can qualify for a mortgage. Once eligible, the client can buy the home back at a predetermined price they agreed upon, up to two years after Landis made the initial purchase.

According to Bloomberg, Smith and Jay-Z were among a group of investors, including Cash App, Ethos, Instacart, Front, Flatiron Health and Tango, who poured into Landis Technologies and helped them to make more than $165 million. The donations will reportedly be used to buy roughly 1,000 homes, which will then be rented out to low-income families working toward mortgage eligibility.

Additionally, as renting clients work on their credit, save money, and minimize their debt, staff at Landis Technologies will provide renters with coaches that will school them about various topics like money management, improving credit scores and other essential information that will help them to eventually qualify for mortgage. The overall goal of Landis Technologies, per the report, is to turn 80 percent of renters into homeowners within two years.

“Financial inclusion is really important to us,” Landis co-founder Cyril Berdugo said in a statement. “An aspect of Landis that we’re very proud to be a part of is wealth creation for low-income Americans. We make money when our client buys the house back. If we leave money on the table, that’s our problem.” “What makes Landis unique is our ability to coach anyone to homeownership,” Berdugo said. “This new funding will allow us to help more Americans on their path to homeownership by expanding to new states, hiring talent nationwide and providing a better experience to our clients and partner agents and lenders.”

As of now, Landis — which is based in New York — operates in 11 states including South Carolina and Alabama. The company is hoping to expand to 20 states next year. We hope that Georgia is on their mind. A program of this nature could be an asset in helping to solve housing insecurities in the state.


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