The Round-up Vol 10: Rhove Made National Headlines
The game-changing launch of Rentership is capturing attention and making national headlines.
July 3, 2020
Last Friday we officially announced the launch of Rentership at Gravity, the first apartment in the world to turn every renter into a stakeholder. We’ve been overwhelmed by the reception of Rentership, even garnering national headlines today with a feature in Fast Company.
We envision a world where every renter is an owner, and the launch of Rentership marks a historic milestone in achieving that vision. Thank you for joining and supporting us in this mission.
Welcome to the Round-Up, and Happy 4th of July!
Rentership in the Headlines
The game-changing launch of Rentership is capturing attention and making national headlines. And, for good reason.
As our Co-founder & CEO, Calvin Cooper, tells Fast Company, “Ownership is not just about finance. Ownership is about citizenship, it's about social responsibility."
See what all the hype is about by checking out the full article here.
We’re in the early stages of an uneven recovery that’s likely to further exacerbate economic inequality. As we saw a $60 billion wealth transfer from Main st. to Wall st. during the recovery from the 2008-09 housing collapse, early indications are showing that history is repeating itself.
Stock indices, after plunging in March as the virus spreads across the U.S., are hovering near all-time highs even as millions are left jobless. This would be great if more than 52% of Americans were invested in the market through individual stocks or retirement accounts. Lower-income households are less likely to be invested, as are Black and Hispanic Americans, so economic and racial inequalities are only intensified.
That’s why it feels like a V-shaped recovery to some, even as the unemployment rate sits at levels never before seen in the post-World War II era.
Exclusivity of Homeownership
Homeownership, long an exclusive housing option, due in part to unjust systemic programs, is only getting more elusive. The coronavirus-induced recession is wiping out savings for down payments, an already difficult hurdle for many locked out of homeownership.
Young adults, some still reeling from the financial crisis more than 10 years ago, may never own homes at the rate of previous generations. The millennial homeownership rate (43%) is far, far below the national average (65%), and this pandemic doesn’t lead us to think it’ll improve anytime soon (as supply is restricted, banking standards are tightening and other headwinds continue).
It’s a double-whammy for renters who miss out on the wealth creation of homeownership. Oh, and by the way, renting has its own problems as the coronavirus pandemic causes prices to increase in what have long been considered cheaper communities neighboring densely packed cities.
So, we can throw our hands up, shrug our shoulders, and say, well, I guess real estate ownership isn’t for everyone. Or we can do something about it...
What's Next for Policymakers?
The federal government’s initial financial relief for coronavirus was swift and sizable. But what now? As cases flare up in Florida, Texas and Arizona, among other hot spots, it’s unclear how governments will respond to support both businesses and workers. And it remains to be seen how much the federal government is willing to spend at a time when the country’s debt level has exceeded 140% of GDP.
Are lawmakers going to let the $600-per-week enhanced federal unemployment benefits expire in July, even as the program supports Black Americans who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout? Will evictions restart or will a nationwide moratorium be required to ensure society’s most vulnerable are not being thrown out of their homes?
The government’s vast programs are keeping many from tumbling into poverty, but these programs aren’t going to last forever.
Turn Every Renter into an Owner
Get a Stake in Gravity
This week marks a historic moment for Rhove. Drumroll please…
We’ve launched Rentership at Gravity, making it the first community in the world where every renter will be a stakeholder. Residents at Gravity can now pre-order their stake, and on Independence Day they will become the first in the world to own a part of their community.
As Independence Day approaches, it’s worth reflecting on our nation and its ideals of the past, present, and future. We should be thinking about embracing the current moment to create a better future we can all be proud of.
To that end, we sat down with Cristina DiGiacomo on her podcast WiseUp! to explore the philosophy of Rentership, and to discuss the relationship between property ownership and democracy. We are considering the words of our Founding Fathers and how to fulfill the vision of equality set forth nearly 250 years ago.
The events of recent weeks—including the push for systemic changes led by Black Lives Matter, the Supreme Court’s decision protecting LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination, and a decision to uphold the DACA program that protects immigrant DREAMers—are encouraging in the the fight to fulfill the enormous potential of our collective society.
It’s incredibly exciting. But there is still a lot of work to do.
As a company founded on the belief that everyone has a right to invest in their home, we’re particularly concerned about the stark economic inequality still festering and currently undermining any potential for a “V-shaped recovery.” The realities of coronavirus-induced job losses and the mismatch between pay and essential status—think nurses, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers—have laid bare the inequality that simmers in our communities and bubbles over during times of economic tumult. Look no further than the shocking decoupling of the stock market and the real economy. Just as the 2008-09 financial crisis exacerbated economic inequality, it’s happening again in this coronavirus-driven recession.
What can we do to prevent the gap from widening and, ideally, slam it closed?
At Rhove, we’re taking action by introducing an entirely new housing category, Rentership (as seen in Fast Company!), as a solution to both expand universal ownership and to counter the systemic injustices that have perpetuated wealth inequality in America.
We believe it’s needed now more than ever. Join us.
Quote of the Week
"Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world." Franklin D. Roosevelt