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Law360: Wall Street’s Single-Family Home Grab, Phoenix — Part 5; Where Local Meets National

November 3, 2022

Law360 has been reporting “how Phoenix is at the forefront of the rolling transformation of tens of thousands of single-family homes into corporate rentals.”

Law360, October 19, 2022: Wall Street’s Single-Family Home Grab, Phoenix — Part 5; Where Local Meets National

The investigation looked at how “The booming single-family rental industry has a countrywide footprint with even deeper roots in global financial markets, but it impacts Americans at the local level, down to the home where they live. This has enabled the industry to fall through the regulatory, policy and legal cracks between the very large and the very small, the nation and the block.”

“At a very basic level, people don’t know who their landlord is and it’s hard to find out sometimes because the properties are owned by various LLCs,” PESP’s Jordan Ash told Law360.

To protect homeowners and tenants, sources called for a national registry of corporate landlords and a database of complaints against them. Law360 reported as well that “many housing advocates and experts want the FHFA, the GSEs, but also HUD and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, to produce a federal package of tenant protections — from things such as sudden, double-digit rent spikes and out-of-the-blue evictions — aimed at least at any corporate landlords that receive public funds through Fannie and Freddie, government vouchers and other subsidies, and programs like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.”

Experts told Law 360 that Fannie and Freddie have already taken steps in the past year to boost safeguards for owners of manufactured homes and could apply a similar blueprint to SFR tenants.

Additionally, the story described how “Invitation Homes and the other Wall Street landlords got in trouble with the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis precisely because they still allegedly filed evictions against residents on arrears even while that and other federal, state and local prohibitions were in place and as Congress pumped tens of billions of dollars in rental assistance into the system.”

“There are really no national tenant protections, so it really comes down to the luck of the draw of where you happen to work, where your family lives, where you were born, and that’s a fundamentally unfair way of treating housing,” said Sofia Lopez, deputy campaign director for housing at the Action Center on Race and the Economy.

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