It’s Time to Own More of Where You Call Home

Welcome to the era of community ownership.
Perspectives Guest

Calvin Cooper is co-founder and CEO of Rhove. Built by Tokr Labs, Rhove was founded with the goal of democratizing real estate investing, empowering everyday people to invest in and own the places in which they live, work, and play for as little as $1 per share. For more information, download the Rhove iOS app or visit rhove.com.


Historically, commercial real estate investing has been the exclusive realm of wealthy individuals and institutions. However, as we grapple with rising inflation and a spiraling housing crisis, it’s clear that now is the time to provide access to ownership opportunities that help people build wealth within their communities. When cranes go up, everyone should view it as an opportunity to benefit financially. It’s time for a more inclusive development model—one where no one is excluded from the value of investing in their community. Why shouldn’t people own their apartment complex, the local coffee shop, or even their city’s sports stadium?

It’s already becoming a reality, including right here in New Orleans.

This summer, my company, Rhove — a platform that allows anyone in the United States to invest in individual commercial real estate assets for as little as $1 per share in one minute — announced a new partnership. Alongside Forward Together New Orleans, The Mayor’s Fund (FTNO) and The Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA), Rhove helped promote economic inclusion through real estate investing in local developments. The FTNO grant is an expansion of the FTNO Universal Basic Investment Credit (UBIC) program, dedicated to implementing strategies that expand intergenerational wealth creation and alleviate disparities that have contributed to wealth gaps. GNOHA is a collaborative of nonprofit housing builders and community development corporations working to rebuild the local housing stock following Hurricane Katrina.

FTNO provided a grant to fund 2,000 $10 investment credits that local residents could use to invest in commercial real estate through the Rhove app. As a result, 1,000 New Orleanians were able to claim a $10 investment credit by simply creating a Rhove account. To further expand access and opportunity for New Orleanians, Rhove and FTNO partnered with GNOHA to select 1,000 recipients for the grant, including seniors, veterans, low-wage workers, low-income families, and those with disabilities. These recipients were invited to invest in commercial real estate with Rhove and received technology assistance from GNOHA.

We know the people of New Orleans want and deserve more dynamic opportunities to participate in ownership of local real estate developments in their neighborhoods. They shouldn’t be limited to the role of passive observer. By breaking down the social and economic barriers that prevented residents from investing in these kinds of opportunities in the past, we’re opening new doors for our community. Rhove is excited to continue working to discover how we can create additional opportunities for New Orleanians to invest back into their communities. We’re in conversations with many property owners in New Orleans to create an opportunity for residents to invest in their community. In fact, these conversations are taking place all over the country.

Community ownership initiatives will truly increase access to investing in commercial real estate. This has incredible implications for increasing wealth, especially in communities that need it most. But, make no mistake, this is more than a financial imperative—it’s about citizenship and social responsibility. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to invest directly in their communities, and we’re excited to help pave the way for a new democratized era of real estate investment and development.

Rhove’s mission is to expand access and opportunity for everyone to invest in and own the places they live, work and play. Real estate development without community ownership will soon be viewed as an outdated and inherently unfair model. The world is going to look a whole lot different due to the transformative power of ownership. In fact, within 10 years, I believe the mortgage as we know it will be dead and the 12-month lease involving no ownership will be a thing of the past.

Anyone who wants to own the places they live, work and play should be able to do so. Thanks to Rhove, now they can, including right here in New Orleans. Welcome to a new era of community ownership with less inequality and economic anxiety.

This is just the beginning.