Corporate Property-Buying Spree May Make Housing Even Less Affordable Amid COVID

A woman holds a sign during an outdoor protest in New York City on August 6, 2020.

Truthout - As the eviction moratorium sputters uncertainly onward, a new genre of news article has emerged from the chaos: the woes of the so-called “mom-and-pop landlord.” These landlords — individuals with just a handful of rental properties — are hard-pressed to keep up mortgages and maintenance due to their inability to collect rent during the COVID crisis. Most landlords featured in such stories agree that ending the moratorium is the answer . . .

As Mangal’s situation suggests, the plight of the small landlord is complicated. It is true that the so-called mom-and-pop landlords are feeling the squeeze, though not to the extent they like to pretend. At worst, these beleaguered landlords will lose their rental properties, while those they evict stand to lose housing, a financially stable future and even their lives as the Delta variant surges. Yet landlord complaints are not entirely unfounded. As mom and pops begin to exit the rental market, large corporate entities are already swooping in to buy up the excess stock, which threatens to funnel wealth into the pockets of the ultra-rich, put further pressure on remaining small landlords to sell and create worse conditions for tenants down the road.

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