Homekeep by Duo

Preserve housing affordability and make the landlord/tenant model obsolete

Last Funded August 2023


raised from 74 investors


Secure affordability in gentrifying neighborhoods
Shift our common narrative around housing rights and neighborhood ownership
Do away with the power dynamics of the landlord/tenant model for the benefit of society
Earn a return on your investment

Our Team

Designing a world without landlords and tenants 🏡

Deep down we all know being a tenant or even a landlord comes with a slew of problems. So why do we put up with it? Surely, if we thought more about it we could find a better way.

Working together with people closest to the problem opens up a world of possibilities. Homekeep can explore those possibilities to make them a reality.

The main problem

Let's start with the basic problem: housing affordability. In 2021 most middle- and low-income households in Chicago were considered rent burdened, meaning that more than 30% of their income went toward paying for rent.

Source: https://www.housingstudies.org/releases/state-rental-2021/

This problem is directly connected to the landlord/tenant model, something we often just accept as "that's just how things are." But if we look at the incentives of this model, continuing down this path will only make affordability worse. Landlords have to keep as much passive income as possible, and tenants have to put up with whatever is on the market to find a place to live.

There's simply no way to reach affordability using this model.

The solution

Through Homekeep, we have the opportunity to design new models of ownership.

And part of it relies on pooling money with like-minded investors, so that the expectations of financial returns are a "nice to have" from the start (instead of a "must have"), and we are all in this together to preserve affordability as the main mission.

The Project

We plan to start small with a very healthy set of buildings that are already occupied, so that we can preserve their affordability now.

We'll then partner with the residents of these buildings to try out new ideas that turn the landlord/tenant model on its head. These are some early ideas:

Just to put this into perspective: how would you react if your landlord had ever asked you "hey, would you be interested in counting part of your rent as equity in this property?" (we checked, and it is possible, it really only requires a special kind of lease, and some shared responsibility. This is part of the design challenge we are proposing).

What we've done so far

We've set the wheels in motion over the past 6 months, and are currently undergoing the financing application with the City of Chicago and our lender.

Why will this work?

All these reasons point toward the fact that it is the right time to try what Homekeep has to offer:

Expected financials

For these three buildings, we expect to have about $7K in profit at the end of the year. There are opportunities to increase this by appealing property taxes given that we will be preserving affordability, and reducing operating costs by trying some of the models we described earlier.

Again, we are not promising a quick road to riches here. The main point is to preserve affordability and have sustainable enough operations to try out new models as we find ways to scale them. The fact that the properties are self sustaining is a great start.

Forward looking projections cannot be guaranteed.

Why invest

This is a very unique opportunity to be part of tackling housing affordability, one of the biggest issues in urbanization, and to help design a completely new model of renting/owning property.

All while earning a return passively. Even though annual distributions for these initial three buildings are modest initially, in the event of a mission-aligned sale, there is a potential for higher earnings.

The Team

We hope you will join us! This is the team who will have your back:

The ask

We are looking for $120K to finalize the acquisition and initial operation of these three buildings. This is enough to get us started.

We hope you will join us and/or spread the word!