Alicia Glen raises $108M for affordable housing fund

NYC's ex-housing czar to target emerging cities and neighborhoods

MSquared Managing Principal Alicia Glen (Getty)
MSquared Managing Principal Alicia Glen (Getty)

Former New York City deputy mayor Alicia Glen’s young firm has amassed just over $100 million in its first fundraise for new middle-income housing.

Glen’s MSquared raised $108 million from Citigroup, her former employer Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo, among others, Bloomberg reported, and is gearing up to launch its second fund with hopes of raising more than $150 million.

With the new fund, MSquared aims to bring affordable housing to major cities to counter the crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. The fund will focus on “places that actually want to tackle the problem,” Glen told the publication.

The firm, which launched last year, also plans to work with women- and minority-owned development and construction teams at the local level.

One of its first projects is investing in a project in Inwood, Manhattan, which will contain 700 units of mixed-income housing and a supermarket.

Outside of New York, MSquared is also working on a project in the Crestview neighborhood of Austin, Texas, where a flood of new arrivals in recent years has spurred a rise in housing costs. The firm is working with O-SDA Industries, Saigebrook Development and 3423 Holdings — all women-owned firms — on a 335-unit apartment complex near a rail station, 40 percent of which will be affordable apartments, according to Bloomberg.

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Glen was known for focusing on adding affordable and middle-class housing during her time as the city’s housing czar. After a five-year run, Glen left her post in early 2019.

The former deputy mayor was appointed chair of the Trust for Governors Island shortly after leaving City Hall. Politico, citing “people familiar with the leadership shakeup” on the committee, reported at the time that Glen planned on taking control of the island’s transformation amid a rezoning effort to open the area for mixed-use development.

When Glen launched her firm, she brought on her former chief of staff Carolee Fink and deputy chief of staff Caitlin Lewis to serve as principal and director of business development, respectively.

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[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner