A new report on housing indicates that at least 10 million families have not been able to pay their rent amid the crisis of the pandemic of COVID-19.
In California, Nevada, Oklahoma, Kansas, Lousiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, Nueva York, Pensilvania, Maryland Y New Hampshire is where the problem has intensified, according to the report “Taking Advantage of Our Homes: Billionaire Homeowners Extract Profits While Millions Are Exposed to Evictions” (“Cashing in on Our Homes: Billionaire Landlords Profit as Millions Face Eviction”). There are 19 other entities where housing problems increased.
El reporte realizado por Bargaining for the Common Good, Institute for Policy Studies y Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund señala que a high percentage of affected families are Latino and African American, who also disproportionately face the negative effects of the coronavirus.
“This report shows what our communities have seen crisis after crisis in this country: rich, millionaires and white billionaires profiting from our pain.”said the report’s co-author and research director for Bargaining for the Common Good, Sara Myklebust. “More than 530,000 people, disproportionately Black and Latino, have lost their lives … Meanwhile, these men and their businesses are pushing for more rent payments and evicting families, literally putting more lives at risk.”
He adds that 61 billionaires who own real estate have benefited, while millions of people could be evicted.
“Billionaire landlords and landlords have accumulated $ 240.9 billion in wealth, of which $ 24.4 billion has been during the pandemic,” indicates the report that arises less than two weeks after the expiration of a national order suspending evictions.
“The billionaire class has seen their wealth increase during the pandemic,” he said. Omar Ocampo, researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies. “When billionaires and private equity investment firms treat housing as a commodity, the security of the tenants’ home is put at risk.”
Experts detailed that the earnings of billionaires would be enough to pay more than 40% of the $ 57.3 billion in back rent from American tenants through January 2021.
They accused the owners and landlords of continuing “to evict tenants, despite the ban”, in addition to warning that they could provoke a new housing crisis like the one in 2008, by “reinforcing their dominance of the sector.”
The analysis examines 20 corporate owners and lessors, including real estate moguls who have total wealth of $ 194 billion.
“In total they control the destiny of 2 million families who rent houses, apartments, or prefabricated house lots”, it is aimed. That represents roughly 4% of the rental housing units in the country.
“After the 2008 financial crisis, private equity companies made a fortune by acquiring residential properties and raising rents, skimping on maintenance and aggressively lobbying to evict,” he charged. Linda Jun, Senior Policy Advisor for Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “This behavior is a sample of what is likely to happen if corporate landlords strengthen their control over tenants during the COVID-19 crisis.”
It is added that several of the companies and billionaires also financially supported the presidential campaigns of the former president Donald Trump.
“From 2015-2020 they contributed more than $ 40 million to their campaign and / or PACs that openly supported Trump,” the experts indicate.
For example, Stephen Ross, who opposed a rent control initiative in California, helped Trump raise more than $ 12 million and contributed $ 300,000 himself.
The report also mentions Kushner Companies, a real estate company operating in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee, owned by former President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
“Before the pandemic, the poor treatment of tenants by corporate landlords Kushner Companies was already well known,” says the report, citing research from ProPublica and New York Times Magazine. “During the first month of the pandemic, March 2020, Kushner Companies’ Westminster Management was still focused on collecting rent, despite acknowledging the health crisis.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.