Infrastructure and Built EnvironmentA data-driven platform that modernises housing finance to help governments tackle the affordable housing crisis
ABOUT BUILDERS PATCH
- Year founded: 2017
- Funding total and latest funding round: Seed, $2.3 million (August 2021)
- Revenue growth from 2020 to 2021: x10
- Lead investor: Urban Innovation Fund
- Offices (HQs): New York, USA
- FTEs = 3
- Key clients/partners: NYC HDC, Hacienda CDC, Xenolith Partners LLC.
- Key executives: Kanan Ajmera, CEO and founder; Uma Pandit, Head of Product Experience and co-founder
Many developed nations are facing affordable housing crises in their cities. Decades of housing construction that lagged behind population growth, followed by reductions in housing stock since 2016, placed the US in a particularly bad position pre-pandemic. Since 2020, changes in housing preferences and disruptions to supply chains have further reduced stock and driven up prices. Policy experts agree that simply building more housing will not solve the crisis – amongst other changes, the cost of construction must come down. Government agencies must work with developers and suppliers to reduce housing development-related costs.
Builders Patch increases efficiencies in housing development by modernising the financing process for community developers and government authorities, ultimately bringing down the time and costs involved. Builders Patch is a secure, cloud-based platform that facilitates management of multi-family housing deals from acquisition to asset management using automated processes. Currently, the platform is primed for automating due diligence collection, underwriting, and loan approval for lenders and multifamily developers. In 2021, Builders Patch partnered with the New York City Housing Development Corporation, the largest municipal Housing Finance Agency in the USA, to manage loan proposals for the City’s affordable housing projects and to collect the associated due diligence.
While affordable housing didn’t make the final version of the bipartisan US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, it remains a key component of the Biden administration’s plan to ‘Build Back Better’. Innovative platforms, such as Builders Patch, that automate housing finance processes can lead to higher returns on government investment, aiding the necessary development of millions more affordable homes.
plans for 2022
- Expanding the Builders
- Patch team and the platform to serve more users.
who should connect with this company
Private organisations and public institutions responsible for or involved in housing finance.
In 2020, the Builders Patch team worked with Hacienda CDC to onboard their projects to the Builders Patch platform. Hacienda is a non-profit community developer based in Portland, Oregon that aims to design and build housing with public purpose and well-being in mind, particularly for the Latino community. Builders Patch transformed Hacienda’s company practices and workflows by automating key processes. Hacienda highlighted that the automated platform not only made the organisation far more time efficient, it also facilitated recruitment of young new employees able to onboard quickly. More broadly, Hacienda said that Builders Patch has afforded their teams the freedom to focus on the entrepreneurial and creative side of development. Hacienda also reported that using the Builders Patch platform has allowed them to keep pace with competitors in a fast-growing sector.
Insights from Dr. Rehema Msulwa, StateUp Expert in Infrastructure
The issues of access to land and construction costs have been unabating drivers of housing unaffordability that can be partly attributed to the institutional design of planning systems. Some elements of these cost and accessibility issues are therefore beyond the scope of private sector innovation. However, as Builders Patch demonstrates, there is scope to streamline processes at the organisational level through digital transformation.
Affordable housing development has seen little radical digital innovation in the last half-century, unlike other infrastructure subsectors. Likewise, non-profit organisations and local governments are benefitting relatively less from innovation and technology adoption than the private sector. Using technology to innovate key financing processes is certainly a step in the right direction toward increasing affordable housing development.
The rising digital interconnectedness of infrastructure, in addition to net zero targets, will necessitate closer collaboration between the public and private sectors and increase complexity of housing finance. Digital platforms, big data analytics, and machine learning tools will undoubtedly be at the core of overcoming these complexities. Builders Patch are expanding the data capacity in their team and StateUp expects the startup’s continuing growth will be accompanied and accelerated by further advances in its data-driven offerings. As governments and developers seek digital solutions to lower housing development costs, StateUp predicts that startups such as Builders Patch will continue to seize opportunities for innovation.