Institute for Policy Studies Report, Cashing In On Our Homes – Introduction:The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light what we have always known: Our homes are vital to our safety, health, and well-being. But a handful of billionaires and corporate landlords have seen the pandemic as an opportunity to cash in on these hard times. Instead of more billionaire bailouts, we need to make sure all families can stay safely in our homes. And we must start to rebuild housing systems in this country using innovative strategies that center Black and Brown families and make it clear that our homes are for people, not profit. While the pandemic has devastated Black and Brown communities, a small handful of wealthy, white billionaire landlords are cashing in to the tune of millions. In this report, produced by Bargaining for the Common Good, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, we lay out clearly who’s winning, who’s losing, and what to do about it. Key Findings:
- There are 61 individual billionaire landlords in America with collective wealth totaling $240.9 billion.
- These billionaire landlords have seen their wealth increase $24.4 billion since mid-March 2020.
- Corporate landlords have a worsening track record of poor maintenance, rising rents and fees, and harassment of tenants and evictions.
- 20 corporate landlord companies are responsible for at least 3,152 evictions across the U.S. during the pandemic.
- Many large landlords received financial support from the coronavirus relief package — sometimes while continuing to file eviction notices against their tenants.
- One in five renters weren’t caught up on their rent as of early February 2021. This represents 13.5 million Americans. If being behind on rent were a state, it would be the fifth-largest state in America.
- Latinx and Black renters have been the most likely to lose employment income and fall behind on rent — and are now at substantially higher risk of eviction…”