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New REO-to-rental program seeks returns for investors

Oakland, Calif., a test market for other cities

A public-private partnership is trying a new foreclosure-to-rental strategy in Oakland, Calif., that will involve purchasing, renovating and renting up to 100 homes in two of the least affluent, inner-city neighborhoods in this city on San Francisco Bay. Columbia, Md.-based Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit with 30 years of experience investing in affordable housing projects, and Oakland, Calif.-based property management startup Waypoint Homes, which has focused on turning distressed single-family homes into rentals since its founding in 2008, have teamed up on the project. The program's total cost is $20 million, $1.6 million of which has been raised so far, the companies said. Waypoint and Enterprise have partnered to raise the rest, and are starting the project slow with a first phase of 20 homes to begin by this September. In the collaboration, Waypoint will select, renovate and manage the properties, and Enterprise will provide tenant financial education and wor...