An exploration of the North Carolina public pension system’s relationship with Landmark Partners and the Single Family Rental industry
A new report by PESP researchers Jordan Ash and Madeline Bankson, with contributions from Amee Chew from Center for Popular Democracy, details the North Carolina Retirement System’s (NCRS) history of investing over $3.2 billion in the private equity firm Landmark Partners over the past decade.
North Carolina has a corporate landlord problem. Large investors now own over 40,000 single family homes in North Carolina squeezing out would-be homebuyers and burdening renters with rising rental costs and prolonged maintenance issues. Some of these corporate rental companies are owned or backed by private equity firms that receive funding from public pension systems, including the North Carolina Retirement System (NCRS).
The North Carolina Retirement System has committed more than $3.2 billion to one such private equity firm, Landmark Partners, since 2014. $2.6 billion of these commitments to Landmark have been made since Dale Folwell became State Treasurer and took over responsibility for the pension fund in 2017. No other pension fund has invested more than $500 million in Landmark during the 2017 – 2022 time period.
This matters because Landmark is a major investor in Progress Residential, the largest single family rental company in the U.S. with over 7,700 homes in North Carolina.
According to the report, North Carolina’s public employee pension funds are being invested in a manner that could harm the state’s residents, including retirees and their families who rent from Progress Residential. The report’s authors call on NCRS to halt any new investments with Landmark Partners in the future and to use its substantial leverage to ensure that Progress Residential takes concrete steps to make its housing safe, affordable, and accessible.
Read the full report HERE.