WHAT SHE’S DOING: Avra Jain of The Vagabond Group is a real estate developer best known for preserving and restoring the roadside motels along Biscayne Boulevard into urban-chic boutique hotels. Most recently, she’s ventured into a series of affordable housing projects in Little Haiti and Overtown because she believes historic preservation and affordable housing go hand in hand. “We create roots in communities through neighborhoods, but it’s the buildings themselves that really house the stories, the memories and the history,” she says.
WHY SHE STANDS OUT: Avra and her team want to preserve a sense of belonging with all their projects by respecting the community’s history. So with their affordable housing projects, they will restore historic buildings without raising rent to avoid displacing residents.
FUN FACT: The Vagabond Group’s affordable housing projects include 24 units in two buildings in Little Haiti and 44 units in five buildings in Overtown. The Overtown development is in partnership with the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency.
QUOTABLE: “Think of the implications of a single mother who now has a house [that] she can take pride [in] and where the kids want to come home and do their homework and invite their friends over. It becomes a family place. Think of the impact of that. It’s monumental.”
WANT TO GET INVOLVED? You already may have! Miami residents voted to tax themselves $100,000,000 for affordable housing. “People ask us, ‘Well why do you do it?’” she says, “I’d like to know why other people don’t. I think that’s the better question.”