A bold ask from Baldwin House
Seeking a remarkable co-conspirator to help us secure financing
Launching Baldwin House has been an act of radical dreaming. We have routinely made astounding leaps of faith, and the community has been there every time to be our net.
As outlined in our last newsletter, it’s difficult for projects like this— small apartment buildings committed to deep affordability —to get a bank loan. Securing a bank loan on our tight timeline is the biggest hurdle we’re facing to close on the building.
We’re seeking a remarkable co-conspirator to bring capital to this project: either by loaning us the remaining $2.3 million we need to purchase the building to be paid back within a year once we secure financing, or by buying the building with an agreement to sell it to Baldwin House in the short-term.
This plan might sound outlandish, but is a strategy that has worked in recent years to launch local housing co-ops. We are making this ask with a belief in miracles, but grounded in reality. Other cooperative projects have been brought to fruition when individuals made incredible personal contributions like this during the acquisition stage.
We are still working to secure financing, but without an extension from the owner our contract will run out before we can do so. Having a third party secure the building will give us crucial time to finalize our financing to buy the building.
If this is something you, a friend, family member, neighbor, or your organization could seriously consider, please get in touch as soon as you can to discuss how this would work.
What’s the money for? How will it be repaid?
We have been working diligently to obtain loans for the building, including collecting nearly $400k in community loans from friends, but our contract with the seller ends on December 17. We need more time to garner the resources needed to purchase the building.
We are currently in conversation with the seller to negotiate an 120 day extension of the contract. Our understanding is that if we are not able to purchase by December 17th, the remaining tenants still have TOPA rights to the building, but we have been making every effort to negotiate a solid extension with the seller. However, they have yet to agree to an extension. We are confident this extension would give us sufficient time to finalize financing through bank and/or community loans, but without it we need a radical partner to buy us time and provide the means to purchase the building now.
What happens if we can’t buy this building?
We’ve been thinking about this since the very beginning. If we are ultimately unsuccessful, we’ll take our $125k deposit and this immense infrastructure to back other cooperative projects. Of the funds already spent, a vast majority went to the tenants to prevent evictions. This is money well-spent.
We hope that you will continue to cultivate our collective dream and work with us to transform it into a reality. Thank you for all of your solidarity and investment in creating a more just and affordable D.C.
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