Los Angeles-based TruAmerica Multifamily is the latest firm venturing into the hot single-family build-for-rent space. The vertically integrated multifamily investment company has launched a build-for-rent development arm to build townhome and single-family rental communities in suburban markets that are synergistic with its existing multifamily platform. Mitch Rotta, a build-for-rent veteran, has been tapped as senior managing director to lead the new division.

Mitch Rotta, senior managing director, TruAmerica
Mitch Rotta, senior managing director, TruAmerica

The firm’s initial rollout of its in-house build-for-rent platform will be in high-growth suburban markets in the Southwest, Southeast, and Texas, where approximately 60% of its $16.1 billion multifamily portfolio is located.

“The changing demographics in the U.S., the ongoing affordability challenges, and credit qualification standards of home buying for Americans has led to a steep decline in homeownership rates, but the desire to live in a home remains high,” said CEO and founder Robert Hart. “Build-for-rent is a natural extension of our workforce housing platform because it complements the same demographics that make up our Class B multifamily strategy. It provides yet another option for working-class Americans who can’t afford to own a home or would just prefer to rent.”

Rotta comes to TruAmerica from Tricor Homes, a leading build-for-rent construction operator and builder. As director of new construction and executive vice president of acquisitions, he oversaw Tricor’s build-for-rent program from land acquisition to vertical construction. Prior to that, he acted as a consultant to investors and operators in the space.

“We are actively engaged in acquiring entitled land and anticipate closing on several land parcels in North Carolina, Texas, and Florida with the intent on starting construction on our first communities by the end of the year,” said Rotta.

According to TruAmerica, the focus will be on communities with townhomes ranging between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet and single-family homes between 1,800 and 2,200 square feet with rents affordable to working-class households.

“As we grow our investor fund business, our build-for-rent platform will be yet another avenue for our existing limited partners to invest in the TruAmerica brand,” added Noah Hochman, co-chief investment officer and head of capital markets.