The Lansing Housing Commission’s decision to sell 200+ public houses for $17 million to an outside investment firm (SK Investments Group based in Miami, Florida) will cost the Lansing community an estimated $74 million in rental and sale revenue over the next 20 years.
The justification for the sale by the LHC is that they have not been able to maintain their current properties, and the sale is required to continue operations. Yet they also claim that the revenue from the sale is supposed to be invested in public housing development, increasing the number of vouchers requiring more LHC capacity and maintenance.
How can residents trust them to take care of all these new projects and project growth, if they haven’t been able to maintain what assets they currently have?
According to their website, SKG was founded by Amnon Zakay and Yanir Hadan, Israeli citizens, in the name of Figtree Holdings LLC in 2009 as a “U.S. Real Estate Investments platform for targeting and seizing the market opportunity following the subprime market collapse.” The company is forthright in its purpose to exploit regular, everyday American’s loss during the 2008 crisis.
As a result, I believe the revenue will likely be invested in foreign interests.
ALTERNATE VIEW:Sale of scattered homes secures more affordable housing for our Lansing community
RELATED:LSJ opinion section explained, our guidelines and FAQ
It’s truly difficult to find any benefit this sale would have on the Lansing community, or any justification for it. Taxpayers should demand better management of their federal funds.
Charla Burnett is a visiting scholar at Michigan State University with extensive experience working in the Middle East and in managing resource allocation, including housing, for major international organizations.