We ask our Board Member, Gary Blumberg,
“What does the NestQuest mission mean to you?”
Gary Blumberg is President at Brite Real Estate, he is a Landlord with over 20 years experience leasing in Houston. Whilst being a NestQuest board member, Gary is also a Board Member of the Houston Apartment Association. Gary provides a wealth of knowledge and expertise to NestQuest ensure our families receive fair and non discriminatory treatment within the rental industry. In his spare time Gary enjoys walking, pets and watching movies. Gary joined NestQuest in 2020 and quickly became an integral part of the NestQuest team, his experience in Housing is vital to our success. We reached out to Gary to understand more his perspective on how NestQuest can support tenants, and how the housing industry in Houston can be adjusted to support low income families.
NestQuest’s mission provides a unique program to advance opportunities for children through education. Both providing affordable housing, and improving the quality of education for lower income families is a constant challenge for our society. NestQuest addresses both of those needs in a program which no other organization can accomplish.
Many apartment owners do not accept government rental assistance recipients as residents because of the required certification process which can be burdensome. Consequently, much of the affordable rental housing stock for these families is generally located in low income areas which sometimes perpetuate the circle of poverty systemic to that community. The federal government is actually advocating a shift in approved tax incentive provided affordable communities to more affluent areas, but there is usually a strong community push back.
Because NestQuest provides a bridge between the property owner, the family and the housing authority, these obstacles are overcome. NestQuest clients are able to use their government assistance to reside in apartment communities located near more highly rated schools. The apartment owner leases to NestQuest directly so that the certification process is removed from the owner’s responsibility and assumed by NestQuest. Collection of the rent is assured. And the results have been spectacular and heartwarming. The children thrive and advance in a manner that would have not occurred otherwise.
When approached to join this Board I was at first skeptical. But as I learned of the mission, I was all in. I have been involved in the multi-family industry for over 40 years, serving on the Boards of the Houston, Texas and National Apartment Associations. This brings knowledge, understanding and, frankly, contacts in the industry that I am using to further the NestQuest mission. It was a piece to the NestQuest board that was needed. And in my discussions with multi-family industry colleagues, I have experienced an enthusiastic acceptance of the concept.
In the future, I see that when the NestQuest story is disseminated, this model will be copied throughout the country. We are the Beta test, and our success is paramount to improving life for under served families everywhere. This is the best of a government/business partnership and I am excited to see what the future holds for NestQuest. I enjoy being a NestQuest board member and will continue to support this incredible organization whilst it supports Houston’s low income families.