Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Philly News For Your Information


Despite CDC moratorium—and with help from White House—corporate landlords have gone on eviction spree

By PhillyNews.FYI , in News , at October 26, 2020 Tags: , , , ,


Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus last month—absent any similar action from the Republican-led Senate—wealthy corporate landlords have blatantly ignored the order, issuing eviction notices to thousands of tenants across five states, according to a watchdog report.

The Private Equity Stakeholder Project, which tracks the impact private equity firms have on communities, revealed on Monday that in 23 counties across Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas, corporate management companies run by deep-pocketed financial firms evicted or tried to evict nearly 10,000 tenants between early September and October 17. The total number of eviction proceedings by corporate landlords across the U.S. since the CDC attempted to stop them is likely much larger.

ADVERTISEMENT

As NBC News reported, corporate landlords flouted the CDC’s guidance, which ordered them to halt evictions for any tenant who was affected by the coronavirus pandemic and couldn’t pay rent, as soon as it was issued on September 4.

The Trump administration, though, made it even easier for wealthy companies to continue evicting tenants this month when it issued new guidance saying landlords can challenge tenants’ claims that they are eligible for the moratorium.

The National Apartment Association proudly claimed this month that it had direct conversations with the White House and the Department of Justice to ensure the eviction ban would be less stringent for corporate landlords to follow—and more punitive to struggling renters.

After the new guidance was issued, nearly 2,000 new eviction proceedings were reported across the five states in one week—nearly double the amount issued the previous week.

“The decisions of large companies to advance evictions despite the moratorium quite literally threatens the health of residents and the broader public,” Jim Baker, executive director of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, told NBC.

ADVERTISEMENT

The organization noted some of the wealthy corporate landlords which have filed the most evictions since the moratorium was called in early September, including Invitation Homes, MAA Communities, and Greystar Apartments.

ADVERTISEMENT

Invitation Homes moved to eject more than 130 tenants since September 2 despite its skyrocketing stock price and earnings, which rose by 54% in the first six months of 2020.

Ventron Management, a Canadian real estate firm, has initiated 281 proceedings during the moratorium—the worst offender documented by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project.

ADVERTISEMENT

David Wertheimer, a housing rights activist in Seattle, called the project’s report “terrifying.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The spike in homelessness that results from the absence of continuing tenant protections in the Covid era spells disaster for too many Americans,” Wertheimer tweeted.

Enjoy good journalism?

… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has slashed advertising rates, and we need your help. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we’ve expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Value Raw Story?

… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has cut advertising rates in half, and we need your help. Like you, we believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we’ve expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].

Comments


Leave a Reply