Organization

Organization 2018-12-04T15:09:42+00:00

History & Background

There are over 53,000 homeless people living in the County of Los Angeles, according to the 2018 Homeless Count.  We are facing a crisis of epic proportions — our homeless population has risen 60% in the last 7 years.  City of Los Angeles voters responded to this crisis by passing Proposition HHH in November 2016, which provides $1.2 billion in tax exempt funding to build permanent supportive housing over the next 10 years.  However, with affordable housing construction costs topping $500,000 per unit and increasing rapidly, and projects taking 2-3 years and sometimes longer to develop, this measure at best will help provide only 10,000 units of housing over the next 10 years.  Los Angeles needs another solution to shift the tides of homelessness, and we need it now.

FlyawayHomes was founded with the principal that the only way to provide housing for the most vulnerable in our communities sustainably is to build permanent supportive housing developments as viable real estate investment vehicles, without the need for government funding or charitable donations.  The key is to reduce the cost and time of construction.  Flyaway does this by building permanent supportive housing designed with shared living units and constructing them from manufactured housing modules.  By making it a “product” (stamped and approved by the State of California) instead of a traditional “building,” we can reduce the planning and permitting time to about four months and the construction time for a project to about 6 months, and reduce the total cost per client to about $120,000.

It is widely known that Permanent Supportive Housing (“PSH”) is the best way to provide housing and ensure continuity for people who have been homeless, because of their mental illness and other afflictions. PSH provides not only comfortable, secure and safe living environments, but also support services (such as counseling, recovery meetings, financial advice, etc.).

FlyawayHomes has partnered with The People Concern, a leading Los Angeles homeless services organization, who master leases the building, furnishes the units, places prospective tenants based on compatibility, and provides supportive services to the tenants. In this way, The People Concern ensures it is meeting all the needs of our community so that the tenants will not only remain housed, but flourish in their new homes. The People Concern has been placing people in PSH for over 20 years, and has a 95% tenant retention rate compared to the national average of 50-60%.

The FlyawayHomes model ensures that we can build PSH projects quickly and cost-effectively, providing housing for the homeless in Los Angeles, as a start for them to rebuild their lives.

Leadership

Our Founders came together when working on a Permanent Supportive Housing task force in conjunction with The People Concern in 2016. Our FlyawayHomes team is driven by a calling to help end homelessness, both locally and nationally. They bring creative thinking, diligence, real estate development, financial and managerial experience to the Company.

Steaven K. Jones, Founder and Chairman

Over 50 years of development experience and a passion for helping the most vulnerable

Steaven founded Steaven Jones Development Company, Inc., a commercial real estate development company, in 1965. It currently manages 18 properties that are owned by SJDC’s affiliated entities. In addition, it develops commercial and mixed-use projects in Los Angeles County.

Over its 50-year history, SJDC has developed over 100 commercial projects in Southern California, including office buildings, shopping centers, free-standing retail stores, mixed-use buildings and automotive care malls. He has served for 17 years on the Board of Directors of The People Concern (formerly OPCC), a well-respected social service agency. He has also been on the Board of the St. John’s Hospital Foundation in Santa Monica for more than 25 years. A graduate of the University of Mississippi and Harvard Business School, Steaven has been happily married for 57 years. He and his wife have two adult daughters and four grandchildren.

Lawry J. Meister, Founder and President

Innovative real estate developer looking to make a difference in the world

Lawry joined Steaven Jones Development Company, Inc. in 1990 and oversees the day-to- day operations. She also founded her own commercial real estate development company, Creative Office Properties, in 2012. She also serves as an Independent Trustee of Causeway Capital’s mutual funds.

Lawry is a graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Business School. She is a Trustee of Wellesley College and founder of the HBS Women’s Roundtable- LA. She and her husband have two adult sons and enjoy hiking with their two Labs in the Santa Monica mountains.

Noyan Uras, Chief Development Officer

Creative and compassionate problem solver / builder

Noyan Uras has 20 years of real estate development, construction and design-build experience and currently leads the Southern California office of West Builders Inc. Having managed over half a billion dollars’ worth of construction projects in the Los Angeles area, his prime focus has been in commercial and residential multi-family and mixed-use projects.

Noyan holds a BA in Civil Engineering from Istanbul Technical University and an MA in Construction Management from University of Southern California. In addition, he is a green enthusiast and a LEED Accredited Professional with focus on Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD+C). Noyan, his wife and two young kids love travelling and discovering new places.

Kevin Hirai, Chief Operating Officer

Talented project manager with creativity, determination and a love of humanity

Kevin is also Founder and President of Bella Vista Property Management, a leading property management company named “Long Beach’s Best”. Bella Vista owns and manages property throughout Los Angeles, with concentration in the Westside, South Bay, and Long Beach areas.

Their portfolio of properties range from single-family homes to office buildings, commercial properties, condominiums, shopping centers and large multi-unit apartment complexes and community associations.

Kevin is a graduate of USC, holds an MBA in finance and is a recent graduate of Harvard University Graduate School of Design (AMDP ’18). He and his wife have two young boys who keep him very busy.

Sarah Jessup, Chief Investment Officer

Excellent corporate manager and CPA, committed to ending homelessness in LA

Sarah has enjoyed a career of over 25 years in executive and financial management, and currently operates as an independent consultant for organizations that need help with infrastructure and business process improvement. In the past, she has held various executive positions in privately held companies in the high tech and health care industries.

She began her career at Price Waterhouse, where she was certified as a Public Accountant. Since 2005, she has been a Director of The People Concern (formerly OPCC), a 54 year-old non-profit organization on the Westside of Los Angeles that serves homeless individuals, victims of domestic violence, at-risk youth and people with severe physical or mental illness, and currently serves as Board Chair. Sarah loves being a part of the Venice community, where she lives with her boyfriend and two badly-behaved dogs.

Advisory Team

Geoff Edelstein, Principal of Granite Investment Partners, LLC
Lewis C. Horne, CBRE, Divisional President, Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii
Mary James, Investor
Laura Kaiser, Investor
Brian Keare, Investor
John Maceri, Executive Director of The People Concern
Katie Porter, Investor
Diane Wilson, Senior Vice President of HSBC Private Banking
Jon Glaser, Owner of JMG Capital

Investor Relations

FlyawayHomes raises capital for completed, stabilized projects from investors who want to do well by doing good. Investors receive a stable return on their equity investment on a monthly basis. For additional information, please contact [email protected].

FAQs

FlyawayHomes, LLC is a California limited liability company whose mission is to fund solutions to end homelessness. All funds generated by FlyawayHomes, LLC will be used either for administrative purposes related to its Permanent Supportive Housing or related projects, or to fund non-profit entities that work to end homelessness. The owners are Steaven Jones (Chairman), Lawry Meister (President), Kevin Hirai (Chief Operating Officer), Sarah Jessup (Chief Investment Officer), and Noyan Uras (Chief Development Officer).

Your investment is used to develop our Permanent Supportive Housing community, and after the project is complete our tenants will move in and begin paying rent (typically from SSDI or other government subsidized programs). After operating expenses are paid, you will receive monthly distributions via ACH transfer.

We build our projects with modular units, currently constructed from repurposed shipping containers. The shipping containers provide the steel structure, and can easily be assembled. The beauty of modular units is that they expedite the design, permitting and building process. Because standard units can be stacked together in various configurations depending on the lot dimensions, the design process is reduced to about a month. The modules are considered a “product” that the State approves in about two months. The City’s approval only encompasses the grading, foundation, site utilities and related site work and that takes about three months. Then, while the site work is being done on the property, the modules are being built in the factory. As soon as the foundation is complete, the modules are brought to the site and assembled in about three days. The final assembly and completion of the stairs, installation of the elevator, site concrete and landscaping can all be completed in about two months. So, from the time we close escrow on a piece of property, we can complete a development in about 10 months.

Our modular manufacturers have spent a considerable amount of time designing their units and having them approved by the State. The units are fully insulated above and below with rigid insulation on the exterior, and inside the side walls, which are then covered with drywall. They have one approved roofer who not only roofs all their units in the factory, but also comes to the jobsite and roofs where the units are connected, so we have a good warranty.

Not yet, but we are working on it!  As a result of our being featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on July 19, 2018 Flyaway LAT Article, the FlyawayHomes team was invited to present to the Citizen’s Oversight Committee for Proposition HHH in August 2018.  We gave them an ambitious proposal: to form a public-private partnership with FlyawayHomes to fund $240 million of PSH construction over 3 years (60 projects, 20/year).  Because each project takes less than a year, we could recycle the funds three times.  HHH would fund 80% ($64 million) and we would raise 20% in private funds ($16 million).  The LA Times continued their coverage of our story and how HHH funds are being used in their article on October 8, 2018 LAT Innovative Developers.  After conducting a robust amount of diligence, the Citizen’s Oversight Committee has challenged the City to change the way HHH funds are administered, to allow for more housing to be built faster.  Their proposal for the City to adopt an 11-point plan calling for relaxed rules and other incentives to fast-track 1,000 units to be built in 2 years was covered in the LA Times article on November 10, 2019  LA Times HHH Pilot Program.  Stay tuned as we keep pushing to change the way Permanent Supportive Housing is built in Los Angeles!

We build our PSH developments entirely “by right”, and because our developments are less than 50 units, we need no formal community approval. However, it is important to us outreach for the support of the communities in which we develop. We held community meetings for our first project, and faced no opposition. We intentionally develop on smaller lots to blend into and uplift surrounding neighborhoods, and house people that are homeless near to where our developments are built. We were featured on the front page of the LA Times, in other media, and have met with numerous LA City officials.

The only tax benefits are the deductions that are currently allowed for accelerated depreciation.

All real estate investments are subject to some degree of risk. For example, real estate investments are relatively illiquid. No assurances can be given that the fair market value of any real estate investment will not decrease in the future or that the investors will recognize full value for any investment. Investments in real estate and real estate-related entities are subject to long-term cyclical trends that give rise to significant volatility in real estate values. The ability to realize anticipated rental income will depend, among other factors, on the financial reliability of its tenants, the location and attractiveness of the property, the supply of comparable space in the areas in which it is located and general economic conditions.

Other risks include changes in zoning, building, environmental and other governmental laws, changes in operating expenses, changes in interest rates, changes in the availability of property relative to demand, changes in availability of financing, changes in costs and terms of mortgage loans, changes in oil and energy prices, changes in the relative popularity of properties, the ongoing need for capital improvements, cash-flow risks, construction risks, as well as natural catastrophes.

Investments will also be subject to the general risks associated with the ownership of real property. Such risks include changes in tenant demand, changes in the financial condition of tenants, changes in property tax rates and landlord/tenant or planning laws, environmental factors, quality of property available, the ability to control service charges and other associated expenditure, the risk of tenant default and the potential illiquidity of property investments (particularly in times of economic downturn). The value of each investment will therefore depend on many factors beyond the control of the property manager and there is no assurance that there will be either a ready market for the investment or that it will be sold at a profit.

KEEP IN MIND THAT THE PROJECTED PERFORMANCE OF ANY INVESTMENT IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. YOU SHOULD ONLY COMMIT MONEY THAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE, AND YOU SHOULD OBTAIN INVESTMENT AND TAX ADVICE FROM YOUR ADVISERS BEFORE DECIDING TO INVEST. FLYAWAYHOMES DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY INVESTMENT, LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE AND WILL NOT HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY LEGAL, INVESTMENT OR TAX ISSUES IN CONNECTION WITH ANY INVESTMENT YOU DECIDE TO MAKE.

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