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HomeStart Saves Families from Eviction by Selling Digital Apartments in the Metaverse

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Spearheaded by TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, HomeStart is partnering with the new metaverse Cornerstone to build a luxury apartment complex in its new metaverse

HomeStart Saves Families from Eviction by Selling Digital Apartments in the Metaverse

HomeStart, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to ending homelessness, is launching a project called INVERSE to help families on the brink of eviction by selling digital apartments in the metaverse. The price of the apartments starts at one Ethereum (ETH), which is around $3000, and approximately what it costs to halt an eviction and provide 12 months of support for a family in a major city in the United States. 

In 2020, nearly 600,000 Americans were regularly unhoused (source: National Alliance to End Homelessness) and today there are double the number of households who are behind on their rent and at risk of eviction than before the covid-19 pandemic, due to surging housing costs (source: OECD Forum). 

HomeStart is partnering with Cornerstone, the first photorealistic metaverse, to build an apartment complex in its new virtual world. HomeStart was given early access to Cornerstone for this project, and people who buy apartments will be some of the first who can enter the virtual world. Cornerstone is being created by ZOAN, a virtual studio based in Helsinki, Finland, and is set to open at the end of 2022. 

“One of HomeStart’s strategies is to prevent homelessness before it starts by helping high-risk households maintain their housing and avoid going to shelters or the street,” said Matt Pritchard, president and executive director at HomeStart. “Just as we identify and incubate innovative solutions to homelessness, HomeStart is always looking for innovative ways to engage more community members to help prevent homelessness. INVERSE is an ambitious project that brings purpose to the metaverse, creating a never-seen-before connection between the virtual and physical worlds that we hope raises awareness to a crisis that has ready-made solutions.”

The building is designed by the award-winning Boston-based architecture firm ICON. Each apartment will be a unique non-fungible token (NFT), and purchasing the NFT will make the buyer the owner of that apartment. There will be a total of 49 NFTs or units for sale and investors can choose between eight floor plans. Prices will range between one and five ETH, which roughly translates to the cost of protecting one to five families from eviction, based on current rates. 

Sales of the NFT apartments begin Tuesday 3rd May, 2022 with 100% of profits from the original sale and 10% of all resales going to HomeStart. The NFTs can be purchased here.  

INVERSE is built on the Ethereum blockchain as individual NFTs, specifically ERC-721 tokens, so users can easily verify the ownership and transaction history of each NFT. TBWA, Cornerstone and ICON worked with Unreal Engine, to ensure real-time rendering of the high-quality graphics and photorealistic designs. The building will also have two community floors for future brand partnerships. 

Bringing purpose to the metaverse 

While the prospect of exploring what virtual worlds have to offer is exciting, companies preparing for web3 have been met with questions around sustainability, diversity and their values. INVERSE aims to solve a real world problem, so it was crucial to choose a metaverse that lives up to the purpose and ambition of the project. In Cornerstone, creators and landowners (Cornerstonians) have the freedom to express themselves by creating what they want. At the same time, the platform creators have set principles for the community based on inclusivity, freedom of self expression and diversity, and are also including measures to help people monitor their screen time. 

“The metaverse is often cast with the stigma of excess,” added Bert Marissen, creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA. “After all, why are people investing in virtual worlds when there are so many problems to address right here on earth? But we believe we can create something that allows people to do both.” 

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Categories: Online Platforms, Real Estate

TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, Tue, 03 May 2022 13:57:50 GMT