A recent Noticias Telemundo article examines how Latino renters and buyers are being priced out of housing as a result of the increase in corporate landlords—including private equity firms such as Blackstone—in the housing market.
Noticias Telemundo, December 25, 2023: Cuando las empresas compran casas, los pobres nos tenemos que ir”: denuncian las compras de viviendas de Wall Street [English translation available via NBC News]
In the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis, institutional investors used their significant resources to buy up foreclosed homes with the aim of making a profit from selling or renting them later on. Since then, corporate landlords have targeted areas where homes are typically cheaper like the Sunbelt—geographic areas that also contain larger numbers of Latino communities.
The model embraced by private equity and other corporate landlords puts tenants at risk, Private Equity Stakeholder Project’s Mad Bankson told Telemundo. To increase revenue and reduce costs, companies raise rents, evict lower-paying tenants, and introduce more fees and fines for tenants. For years, PESP has been tracking such exploitative practices by institutional investors. Just last May, PESP revealed how Blackstone, a private equity firm and the largest landlord in the U.S., had a pattern of evicting tenants in Florida and listing the properties at substantially higher rental prices.
“Corporate landlords tend to invest in areas where they believe demand will increase so they can charge higher rents,” said Bankson. “There is some overlap between these geographic factors and places that have high Latino populations.” In Charlotte, NC, for example, institutional investors own 20% of single-family rentals (SFRs) in the area, a huge increase compared to their 3% share of SFRs nationwide.
The Telemundo piece noted how the disproportionate impacts of the housing crisis resulted in the loss of 66% of Latino household wealth. That in turn has resulted in higher concentrations of Latinos in single-family rentals – and exposed the Latino community to more of the risks posed by private equity-owned SFRs.