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Congressional Leaders Propose Mass Eviction of Working Families

Eric J Bokota

Senator Jeff Merkley (Democrat - Oregon) and Representative Adam Smith (Democrat - Washington) have proposed a piece of housing legislation which would inevitably force the eviction of hundreds of thousands of working families in the United States. Dubbed the “End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act of 2023”, legislation (similar legislation has also been put forth by Jeff Jackson & Alma Adams, both Democrats from North Carolina) proposes the following:

  • Mandates the sale of single family rental housing. By forcing investor groups to sell rental housing, hundreds of thousands of working families will be inevitably be displaced (as new owners move in) and many could end up homeless. Removing these properties from the rental pool favors more affluent constituents (prospective homeowners) at the expense of some of the most vulnerable working families who would inevitably be forced to move following the transfer of ownership. Moreover, it is estimated that this would have a disproportionately adverse impact on households lead by people of color and/or women.
  • Prevents the acquisition of new single family homes by investors. Sadly, this would massively curtail the available supply of single family housing available to working families. Through Build for Rent initiatives, Investor group backed housing providers have increased the supply of single family homes by upwards of 100,000 units over the past several years allowing more working families to enjoy the benefits of low cost, single family living. Build For Rent programs have proven to expand the housing supply and offer more opportunities for Americans to have safe, affordable housing. The proposed legislation would stop such housing from being built which would increase the cost of housing.
  • It has been well documented that the cost of renting a single family home is significantly lower than the cost of ownership (recently estimated at 30% or over $1,100 per month cheaper to rent than own). Rentals have provided a low cost option for working families to have safe, affordable housing. The bills proposed by Merkley/Smith and Jackson/Adams would prevent less affluent families from having the same opportunities (safety, school districts) available to their more affluent neighbors. Forcing working families out of their low cost rental homes is unconscionable.

It is obvious that a supply shortage cannot be solved by removing capital from the industry in short supply - however, that is exactly what this ill-advised bill proposes.

While it is not in my economic interest to oppose such a bill (as it would likely force many evicted single family renters to rent apartments/mobile homes in which I have a significant economic interest and would benefit from higher rent/occupancy), I find these proposals by economically illiterate Congressional 'leaders' appalling and against the public interest.

I implore voters in North Carolina, Washington and Oregon to demand the immediate resignation of your inept representatives:

North Carolina: