Rocket Companies founder Dan Gilbert is coming to the help of low-income residents and community organizations in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. It was recently announced that Gilbert will make a $500 million, ten-year investment in the city.
Of that $500 million, $350 million will come from the Gilbert Family Foundation and $150 million will come from the philanthropic division of Rocket, the Rocket Community Fund.
The first order of business in Gilbert's plan is to eliminate the property tax debt that has been accumulated by around 20,000 low-income Detroit homeowners. That is expected to cost $15 million and will establish the Detroit Tax Relief Fund. That organization is expected to pay the remaining property taxes for people eligible for the program in order to bring down the high rate of foreclosures in the Detroit area.
This isn't Gilbert's first investment in helping his city get back on its proverbial feet. In 2013, he was instrumental in the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force, an organization that razed roughly 169,000 vacant buildings in the Detroit Metro area. In 2010, Gilbert moved the Quicken Loans headquarters (and 1,700 employees) to downtown Detroit to help revitalize the city. According to the company's bylaws, its headquarters cannot be moved outside of Detroit unless 75% of the voting rights holders agree to a move. Mathematically, Dan owns 79% of the company's voting shares which, in essence, means the company cannot move out of Detroit without his approval.
Gilbert founded Quicken Loans in 1985 with $5,000 he'd saved up from delivering pizzas in college. He was just 22-years-old at the time.
Eventually, he changed the name of the company to Rocket.
By 2019 Rocket had grown into the largest mortgage lender in the United States. The company went public in August 2020. Thanks to his majority stake in Rocket, the company's IPO boosted Dan's net worth to $36 billion in one day.
Outside of Rocket, Dan Gilbert is probably most-famous for owning the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.
As of this writing, we peg Dan Gilbert's net worth at $40 billion. Dan and his wife Jennifer have been members of the Giving Pledge since 2012.
In a statement about his planned donation, Gilbert explained:
"Everyone deserves to achieve the American dream of homeownership, and that includes the ability to sustainably and permanently enjoy the home you make for yourself, your family, and your loved ones. Removing this tax burden will build a stronger foundation for Detroit families to thrive."