Robert Smith Partners with Steinbridge Group to Commit $100M to HBCUs


January 31, 2024

He’s back at it again!

In an initiative to address the challenges faced by historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), the Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) has joined forces with the Steinbridge Group. The partnership, recently announced by Steinbridge Group, includes a substantial $100 million capital commitment to develop attainable housing in the vicinity of these educational institutions. Aimed at easing the burden on faculty, first responders, and local professionals struggling with soaring real estate prices, the collaboration seeks to transform underutilized spaces and foster community development.

Robert F. Smith, founder and chairman of Student Freedom Initiative, emphasized, “In order to educate and train the next generation of diverse leaders and innovators, institutions must have access to an affordable education, and they must be surrounded by a thriving community,“


Eligible institutions will be chosen based on criteria such as land ownership within the community, capacity for expansive development projects, and leadership alignment with the initiative. Steinbridge and SFI aim to review interested HBCUs and MSIs and provide investments for development efforts.

While the focus of this investment is on housing in surrounding communities, it brings attention to the broader challenges, including inadequate and outdated student housing on some HBCU campuses, as highlighted on social media in recent years. This partnership strives to make a significant difference in creating affordable housing solutions for the communities surrounding HBCUs and MSIs.

Cover Photo: Robert F. Smith, Student Freedom Initiative Chairman. / Credit: Student Freedom Initiative

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