Xenolith Partners develops affordable housing with one purpose in mind—the community. Founded in 2016 by partners Andrea Kretchmer and Terri Belkas-Mitchell, this women-owned business’s mission is to provide affordable housing that makes a positive impact on the residents in the units and the communities around them. Without the resources and time provided by developers like Xenolith, many low-income families or people with special needs could end up living in substandard apartments with little to no resources.
The process of developing affordable housing is far from simple. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are, in a sense, mini-projects within themselves. They condense the firm’s entire plan for the project, from concept to schematic design, into 12 weeks. While this can be challenging, it’s one of Andrea’s favorite parts of the job.
Prior to COVID-19, agencies typically required hard copies of proposal binders. This work was not only cumbersome but extremely time-consuming, as it can take three to four days to complete. Xenolith needed a solution that would help them stay on top of project details, keep track of tasks, communicate with each other, and complete multiple applications in one place.
Xenolith chose Builders Patch as it's designed with developers in mind by enabling multiple people—both lenders and developers—to complete tasks and collaborate in an easy-to-use platform.
With Builders Patch, Xenolith is able to expedite their due diligence with our checklist that consists of easy-to-follow lists, fill-in forms, and includes a collection of the most common files needed to complete due diligence. Once common files and questions are filled in, all checklists across several lenders with the same common questions are updated automatically—saving Xenolith an enormous amount of time.
Additionally, Xenolith has seen Builders Patch as a gateway to creating RFPs. In one particular case, they were applying to the Seniors First RFP as part of the NYC Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Seniors First initiative. Even though NYCHA is not a customer of Builders Patch, they were able to create a streamlined interface for Xenolith to check off items off the checklists.
Builders Patch then created a streamlined process in Google Drive for Xenolith and NYCHA with folders and document templates, making collaboration across multiple parties very easy. Once the entire process was completed, and all documents were in place, Builders Patch helped Xenolith to collate all the material, format all the documents, and then piece together the entire package into a single PDF.
They have also seen success in closing deals, and most recently, Casa Celina—a project that will consist of 393 affordable senior housing units in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
The process of underwriting and bringing in lenders for this project required a lot of organization, and with Builders Patch, each lender had their own checklist and ability to track tasks and communicate with each other.
Overall, Xenolith is in the affordable housing business for the greater good of the community. Being a part of such a massive industry and seeing even just one family or one resident positively impacted is why Andrea does what she does. She encourages and motivates project teams, contributing to Xenolith’s success. Everyone is empowered to do their best to make a difference in their communities.
Although affordable housing is a competitive and challenging industry, Andrea wouldn’t have it any other way, and with some help from Builders Patch, RFPs and due diligence has never been easier. As she says, “the process can be very stressful...but very rewarding, too.”