Private equity firms and other large landlords are stepping up eviction actions ahead of the July 31 expiration of the CDC eviction moratorium even as renters struggle to access the billions of dollars in federal rental assistance that is still available, an analysis of eviction filings by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project finds.
According to data released last week by the Treasury Department, only $1.5 billion of the $47 billion allocated by Congress was provided to about 350,000 households by May 31. That’s less than 4% of the money allotted.
Meanwhile, many large landlords have not sought to work with residents to enable them to access rental assistance, opting instead to advance eviction actions against renters.
Private equity firms and other corporate landlords have filed to evict at least 75,000 residents since the CDC eviction moratorium went into effect last September in the several counties in GA, FL, TX, AZ, TN, and NV where the Private Equity Stakeholder Project has been tracking eviction filings.
Corporate landlords have filed more than 43,000 eviction actions in those states since the beginning of 2021, when Congress first authorized billions of dollars in assistance for renters.
Corporate landlords sharply increased eviction actions in June ahead of the CDC eviction moratorium expiration.
– Georgia: Corporate landlords filed at least 1,969 eviction actions in June in majority-Black DeKalb and Clayton Counties, up from 1,531 filings in May.
– Florida: Corporate landlords filed at least 1,742 eviction actions in June in several counties in Florida, up from 978 filings in May.
– Texas: Corporate landlords filed at least 1,856 eviction actions in June in Harris (Houston) and Tarrant (Fort Worth) counties in Texas, up from 1,690 filings in May.
Large corporate landlords that filed to evict dozens of hundreds or residents in June include:
– Pretium Partners (Progress Residential, Front Yard Residential): At least 208 new eviction filings in June and 1,300 since Congress allocated billions to rental assistance in January.
– American Landmark Apartments/ Electra America: At least 90 new eviction filings in June and 444 since January.
– Mid-America Apartment Communities: At least 82 new eviction filings in June and 471 since January.
– Amherst Holdings (Main Street Renewal): At least 74 new eviction filings in June and 403 since January.
A list of the top eviction filers in June and since Congress first made federal rental assistance available in January is below.
These filings have hit renters of color especially hard. For example, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project in April found that since the beginning of 2021 Pretium Partners had filed to evict residents in majority-Black counties in Georgia at more than four times the rate it had residents in majority-white counties in Florida.
This behavior by corporate landlords has led to action by lawmakers. Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters last week sent letters to dozens of the nation’s largest corporate landlords and top eviction filers during the pandemic — including Pretium Partners, American Landmark Apartments/ Electra America, Mid-America Apartment Communities, and Amherst Holdings — urging them to work with tenants to inform them of their rights and connect them with emergency rental assistance.
Waters said, “Despite these protections, some corporate landlords, including your company, have continued to file evictions against renters, many of whom are disproportionately Black and Latinx. Given what is at stake, I call on you to halt these harmful and unjust practices and instead work to connect your tenants to the emergency rental assistance that I worked to obtain in cooperation with your industry trade associations, tenant advocates and low-income housing advocates, and other stakeholders across the housing spectrum.”
“I am deeply concerned about the actions your company might take during the remaining period of the moratorium and once it is lifted. My Committee has held hearings on evictions in the U.S. and the impact they can have on families. An eviction can disrupt virtually every aspect of a family’s life, putting them at greater risk of job loss and chronic homelessness. Housing instability can be particularly traumatic for young children and can have lifelong impacts, including through disruptions to their education. An eviction can also haunt people for years in the form of court records and damaged credit histories that threaten their long-term financial health. Ultimately, many families with evictions on their records cannot find another home and fall into homelessness. The ripple effects of these evictions have dire implications for our national economic recovery as well as racial and economic inequality in this country,” said Waters’ letter.
US House Committee on Financial Services, July 2, 2021: Waters Calls on Corporate Landlords to Halt Harmful Eviction Practices and Help Stabilize Renters
Waters’ letter follows Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown’s request for a briefing by private equity firm Pretium Partners to talk about compliance with the CDC eviction moratorium and why the company is filing eviction actions at higher rates in majority-Black counties.
NPR, June 10, 2021:Senator Presses Landlord Over Report It Evicts Black Renters At Higher Rates
Brown, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, wrote, “While evictions can have long-lasting, damaging effects on renters in normal times, they are especially troubling during a pandemic where safe, stable housing can literally mean the difference between life and death.”
Eviction Actions by Corporate Landlords
(Select counties in FL, GA, TX, TN, AZ, NV. June data does not yet include AZ or NV)
|Since Jan 1, 2021
|Filings June 2021
|Pretium Partners (Progress Residential, Front Yard Residential)
|Western Wealth Capital
|Mid-America Apartment Communities
|American Landmark Apartments/ Electra America
|Main Street Renewal
|Blue Magma Residential
|Villa Serena Communities
|Harbor Group International
|Bridge Investment Group
|Crown Bay Group
|Camden Property Trust
|Avila Real Estate
|Adams Investor Group
|Federal Capital Partners
|Priderock Capital Management
|Asia Capital Real Estate Management (ACRE)
|GoldOller Real Estate Investments
|River Valley Communities
|Olive Tree Holdings
|Greystar Real Estate Partners
|Blue Roc Premier
|Independence Realty Trust