In Case You Missed It: Senator Warren and Carroll Fife Washington Post Op-Ed: The Nation is Facing a Housing Crisis. But Private Equity Firms Just See Dollar Signs
"If we fail to prevent another private equity real estate grab, we risk allowing another massive upheaval in the housing market that could wreak more havoc on low-income Americans, especially Black and brown families still recovering from losing their homes a decade ago"
Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Carroll Fife, Moms 4 Housing organizer and Director of the Oakland office of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about what lawmakers must do to confront the looming eviction crisis and prevent private equity from further destabilizing neighborhoods and profiting off the displacement of families.
Read the full op-ed here. Key sections below:
Following the 2008 crash, corporations that grabbed up properties on the cheap converted those homes into rentals, and turned into the worst kind of slumlords - jacking up rents, neglecting maintenance requests and health and safety concerns, and eagerly assessing fines, fees and eviction notices. Other corporate-owned homes were left vacant in a hoarding of housing stock.
Sen. Warren and Reps. Jesús "Chuy" García (D-Ill.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) recently introduced the Protecting Renters from Evictions and Fees Act to establish a federal eviction moratorium for all renters through March 2021. The bill also makes sure renters don't get hit with fees or penalties if they need a few extra months to pay rent. Private equity companies are among the landlords evicting tenants during this crisis in violation of the limited moratorium in the Cares Act.
Congress needs to pass legislation creating new restrictions on the sale of delinquent mortgages. Sen. Warren's American Housing and Economic Mobility Act would stop the pipeline of these mortgages being sold to private equity firms, and make sure that communities and homeowners are put ahead of private investors. States should also implement protections: In California, state Sen. Nancy Skinner's S.B. 1079 would bar the bulk sale of auctioned foreclosed properties, give occupants and nonprofits the right of first refusal to buy foreclosed homes, and raise penalties for vacant properties.
If we fail to prevent another private equity real estate grab, we risk allowing another massive upheaval in the housing market that could wreak more havoc on low-income Americans, especially Black and brown families still recovering from losing their homes a decade ago.
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