Nikki Merkerson is a Community Development and Housing Specialist. She is a real estate investor, advocating for and empowering others to make smart investments.
Nikki is passionate about making wealth-building opportunities attainable. She is the founder of Urban Leisure, a co-living space based out of Brooklyn, New York. Co-living is one of the best and most direct means to achieve optimal density using a shared housing model that encourages social interaction, collaboration and connections.
Nikki is also the founder of Pairgap, an innovative web platform that matches ideal partners to one another with the intent of buying property together. The platform makes homeownership both accessible and affordable. Nikki strongly believes that by leveraging today’s shared economy and matching potential buyers to one another, more people will have the opportunity to build wealth through co-ownership.
Prior to pursuing her entrepreneurship ventures full-time, Nikki spent 23 years in the financial services industry. She most recently held the role of a Community Reinvestment Officer at JP Morgan Chase covering the Northeast markets and was responsible for building long term relationships supporting key community stakeholders and assisting low and moderate income individuals with greater economic opportunity. In her former role, Nikki worked on many initiatives with partnerships between public officials; city, state, and government agencies; financial institutions, and community organization partners to help raise public awareness, target outreach to the unbanked and underbanked, and expand access to financial education. Prior to JP Morgan, Nikki served as a Loan Officer for 15 years at various financial institutions.
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Nikki is a proud mother of two, her daughter Kaylah who is an aspiring attorney and her son, Keith who she has groomed to become the CEO of her business, Urban Leisure.
Board Leadership Positions & Honors
Board Member, Hope Community Inc - Housing organization, New York NY
Urban Affairs Coalition, Philadelphia: Community & Economic Development Committee Member
Urban Affairs Coalition, Philadelphia: Co-chair of Impact Development Round Table
Urban Affairs Coalition, Philadelphia: Financial Wellness Committee Member
2019 Friends of the Coalition Community Partner award
Mount Airy CDC, Philadelphia: 2017 Community Champion Award