In 1998, members of the San Diego chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management became concerned that spiraling housing costs, combined with welfare reform, would put many families on the street. The REstart program was created by real estate management professionals who are using education, training, and networking to train disadvantaged single parents for a new start in life through real estate.
Co-founders Linda Lewis and Lauri Greenblatt developed the model of a teaching program that would allow these parents to train and intern as apartment managers, thus providing them with free or low-cost housing and a career.
The program was originally named Home Start to signify the key elements of the program — a new home and a new start. The program was later named REstart to emphasize the new start in life through Real Estate Management.