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The Round-up Volume 8: We Are At a Crossroads

Change does not come without a price, and while we have a long path to travel to meet everyone in a place of equality and understanding, we’ve seen millions of Americans answer when called upon. This is cause for hope.

June 4, 2020

This year is shaping up to be one for the history books. We are living through a global pandemic, experiencing unemployment rates not seen since The Great Depression, and there are civil rights protests sweeping across the globe. While this is a difficult time for our generation, it is also an opportunity to rebuild and reimagine the world as it could be.

We stand in solidarity with millions of Americans taking a stand against racism and police brutality. We support and are thankful for the tireless efforts of a wide coalition of protestors seeking immediate justice for George Floyd and his family, and demand long term solutions to stop racial injustice. We are hopeful that this time will be different.

What brings us hope are the business leaders and politicians speaking out who have never spoken out before. The many allies speaking up for the first time. The police officers walking with and kneeling beside protestors. And the legislation and proposals being introduced at all levels of government to advance police reform.

While our vision is to turn every renter into an owner, being a stakeholder in your community is about so much more than finance. Ownership deeply binds us to our neighbors. It empowers us to think toward the future, to find ways to collectively build a safe community for everyone. Ownership expands our sense of mutual responsibility, accountability, and destiny.

Interesting Reads

Don't Just Speak. Act.

Now is the time for action. Hear from our CEO, Calvin Cooper, about the immediate need for solutions to counter racial injustice, and how shared ownership of our communities will be a part of a next wave of solutions to address economic inequality.

Real,  Fundamental Change

The movements and protests forming across many American cities are in response to the egregious police brutality against George Floyd, but they are also about much more than that. Demonstrators call for a change in the way our communities are policed, but also to address systemic racism that has resulted in gaps in education and exclusion from economic opportunity for people of color. The disparities are so deeply ingrained in our communities that even things as fundamental as housing remain shockingly divided.

Unluckiest Generation?

If we've learned anything from this recession, it is that our economy is failing younger generations.

Millennials have been scapegoated for the demise of everything from napkins to department stores. While younger generations may have different views than those that came before them, this latest recession is amplifying the fact that they’re not responsible for the demise of the economy, in fact they're the unluckiest generation. The Washington Post has a great analysis of wages and wealth, and how they’re vastly different based on age cohort.

Consider this: Millennials have practically ZERO net real estate wealth. According to the Washington Post, wages never fully recovered from the Great Recession of 2007-09. And any progress that was made was wiped out quickly by another once-in-a-lifetime economic event.

Evictions Looming

Tens of millions of unemployed Americans are hoping their landlords don’t take action on delayed and missed rent payments, even if they’re legally able to do so. For many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, missing a payment wasn’t a choice. Bloomberg reports that nearly ⅓ of Americans who have filed for unemployment have yet to receive a dime. Eviction moratoriums and other protections are expiring in many places and there could be an avalanche of evictions in the coming months. Unfortunately, these evictions are likely to hit the most vulnerable renters the hardest. Houston became the largest U.S. city to lift its moratorium on evictions.

This unfortunate situation underscores the need to disrupt the status quo in housing 🏡. Millions of Americans are missing rent, mortgage, and auto payments, and while there’s temporary relief for some borrowers, NPR describes a financial bridge only half-built. When tenants miss payments their landlords can’t pay the mortgage on the building, and the landlords’ banks are left holding the bag. Enough missed payments and––you guessed it––the game collapses.

Parting Thoughts

The last week has unearthed many emotions for us all––horror, frustration, sadness, and hope. That we have hope is very important. That emotion has underpinned every great movement since the dawn of time. Change does not come without a price, and while we have a long path to travel to meet everyone in a place of equality and understanding, we’ve seen millions of Americans answer when called upon. This is cause for hope.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” - Frederick Douglass