Houwzer Launches RiseUp Fund For First-Time Homeowners – NMP Skip to main content

Houwzer Launches RiseUp Fund For First-Time Homeowners

Keith Griffin
Apr 26, 2022

Partners with NBA great David Robinson to launch organization.

Houwzer, an end-to-end real estate brokerage and homeownership platform powered by proprietary technology and an all-W2 labor model, has announced the launch of the RiseUp Fund.

The fund is an independent, federally chartered nonprofit organization created by Houwzer to provide a path toward homeownership for underserved families through education, financial assistance, and empowerment. 

A certified B Corporation since 2016 and the first B Corporation real estate brokerage in the world, Houwzer donates $100 to the RiseUp Fund for every home it helps its clients buy or sell, with 100% of those funds supporting eligible families with homebuyer grants and programs.

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

Using the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) classification as defined by the United Way, RiseUp serves low-to-moderate-income individuals and families who need help to secure their own home. Houwzer then uses its resources to help families acquire homes in appreciating communities, deliver turnkey homes with built-in equity, and secure affordable financing. Houwzer’s one-stop-shop model with in-house mortgage and title significantly reduces the overall costs for the eligible families.

The RiseUp Fund offers a $5,000 grant to be used to offset closing costs for first-time homebuyers who are considered low- to moderate-income earners. In partnership with RiseUp, Houwzer is able to further offset closing costs through interested party contributions and/or reducing its compensation to $0. 

The RiseUp Fund also offers HUD-certified homebuyer educational seminars, which are mandatory precursors before awarding the grant. Awardees will be assigned a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor as a mentor to assist them throughout their first year of homeownership to avoid pitfalls and mishaps that are common to first-time homeowners. Awards are based on demonstrated financial need, geography, and successfully completing a HUD-certified homebuyer education seminar.

“My vision for the RiseUp Fund was inspired by Richard Rothstein’s book, ‘The Color of Law,’ and the philanthropic work done by ‘The Admiral’, David Robinson, the NBA basketball legend, who I’ve had the great opportunity to get to know over the years when his private equity fund, Admiral Capital Group, co-led our Seed round,” said Mike Maher, Houwzer CEO. “David also invested personally in Houwzer, and a big part of his thesis was our ability to create an impact model as disruptive as our business model.”

NBA great David Robinson

“As an investor in Houwzer and chairman emeritus at RiseUp Fund, I believe homeownership has perhaps the most demonstrable impact on so many critical outcomes for underserved families — stability, security, safety, health, equal opportunity, upward mobility, and wealth creation,” Robinson said. “I believe that residential segregation has created compounding structural inequalities that have significantly impacted the homeownership opportunity for our black and brown communities, among other underserved populations. The RiseUp Fund represents a next-generation impact model that will create a repeatable, scalable platform for homeownership and help accelerate the generational wealth opportunity for the underserved.”

This year, RiseUp will award 10 $5,000 grants to low-to-moderate-income families who are first-time homebuyers in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas. In 2023, the organization will award 20 $5,000 grants and expand its footprint to the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore communities, and by 2024, RiseUp will reach Florida.

Apr 26, 2022
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