Roost Online Community Launches to Empower Renters During This Especially Challenging Time
As 20 Percent of Americans Struggle to Make Next Month’s Rent During COVID-19, Roost Offers Tools and Resources for Tenants
San Francisco, CA (May 28, 2020) – Roost, an online community for renters offering guidance, tools and easy ways to save, today announced the launch of its web-based service designed to inform and empower users to strengthen their renting-power. Roost is a mission-driven tech company working to make renting simple, accessible, and transparent for Americans struggling to manage expenses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in the future.
According to the LA Times, nearly one-fifth of Americans will be unable to make their June rental and mortgage payments. Roost was founded in April 2020 to empower tenants with needed resources and tools as national lockdown measures threaten stable living situations for the 43 million American households who rent their homes.
“There is a housing crisis in this country,” said Roost Co-founder Chanin Ballance. “Affordable housing is in short supply, but it’s a fundamental need and a basic human right. With the impact of the current pandemic, the U.S. is bracing for an economic downturn, and renters are among the most vulnerable. We want to give tenants the information and guidance they need to be their own best advocates.”
Prior to COVID-19, nearly 40% of Americans were already living on the cusp of poverty, or one missed paycheck away from the U.S. Census Bureau’s breadline threshold. Now, with the U.S. unemployment rate approaching 15%, many renters are left with limited resources to navigate the ongoing economic implications of the pandemic. Coronavirus-related layoffs have impacted younger Americans especially harshly, as people between 16 and 24 have seen the biggest uptick in unemployment rates in recent weeks; with nearly half of U.S. renters being under the age of 30, those who rent their homes face an immediate risk.
Designed to address the unique needs of renters, Roost was developed by a team of expert tech leaders. Roost is free to join and connects members with the resources they need to live better and more affordably.
- Self-Advocacy and Renters Rights: Roost helps renters gain clarity about their rights and responsibilities, to better understand what a landlord can legally do within the lease agreement, and to know where to turn in an emergency. Written in language that anyone can understand, members can also learn about navigating security deposits and eviction notices. The site also offers targeted advice for managing rental challenges during coronavirus and beyond.
- Evaluating Renter Services: Roost walks its community members through the pros and cons – and costs – of services frequently used by renters, such as insurance, furniture, and appliance rental. Users can also access information to compare renters’ insurance options and find products and tips for making any apartment cozy and comfortable.
- Personal Finance Know-How: The site includes tips to help renters navigate life’s financial decisions — from negotiating a lease or lower rates on utilities, taking a loan, creating emergency savings funds to finding an affordable apartment, and getting rental payments added to their credit history.
“Some of our early research showed that many renters feel anxious about housing, even if they’re actually pretty qualified applicants,” said Valarie Hamm Carlson, who helped found Roost and currently serves as an Advisor. “There’s a lot of information out there for potential homeowners, but not as much for renters. Roost is all about helping them know where they stand and what their options are.”
Renters can now visit https://joinroost.com/ to sign up for free and gain access to a personalized profile, expert advice, handy planning tools, and data-driven recommendations to help make renting simple and rewarding. Next on Roost’s roadmap are negotiated discounts for members based on what renters most need and launching a renter-to-renter community to help share best practices and learnings.
Roost is a mission-driven tech company working to make the renter experience simpler and more transparent. Unlike a listing site, Roost’s online community is entirely focused on providing articles, tools, and services that help renters better understand their options and strengthen their renting-power. Roost also builds a comprehensive member profile over time, using data science to detect what information a member is most likely to need next, from how to recover their full security deposit to tips for reducing living expenses or negotiating a new lease. The company was founded in April 2020 by a team of former tech leaders whose experience as renters and property owners revealed a huge gap in resources available for tenants. The company is a remote-first team with staff based in San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, and New York.