The U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released a staff report on July 28 with findings from its year-long investigation into the eviction practices of four large corporate landlords during the first 16 months of the pandemic. The Select Subcommittee found that the four companies under investigation – Pretium Partners (through its companies Progress Residential and Front Yard Residential), Invitation Homes, Ventron Management, and the Siegel Group – engaged in abusive tactics to remove tenants from their homes. The investigation revealed that these companies filed a total of 14,744 eviction actions between March 15, 2020, and July 29, 2021 – nearly three times more than previously known. Read the report, Examining Pandemic Evictions: A Report on Abuses by Four Corporate Landlords During the Coronavirus Crisis.
Department of the Treasury
Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) Wally Adeyemo spoke at the White House Summit on Building Lasting Eviction Prevention Reform. He discussed the successes of the ERA program and encouraged communities to consider using remaining ERA funds for continued investment in eviction prevention systems that can result in long-term change. Read his remarks.
Treasury announced new guidance on July 27 to increase the ability of state, local, and tribal governments to use Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to boost the supply of affordable housing in their communities. Additionally, Treasury and HUD jointly published an “Affordable Housing How-To Guide” to assist state and local governments in using SLFRF funds for affordable housing. Read NLIHC’s Memo, 8/1 on the new guidance.
Treasury published guidance on the use of ERA2 funds for affordable rental housing, eviction prevention, and housing stability purposes after October 1, 2022.
Treasury released ERA spending data through May 2022. ERA grantees spent over $948 million of ERA2 and $681 million of ERA1 for a total of $1.63 billion of ERA disbursed to households in May alone. This amount is slightly lower than the $1.65 billion of ERA spent in April and $1.86 billion spent in March. Overall, $30.2 billion of ERA1 and ERA2 have been spent on assistance to households, administrative expenses, and housing stability services. The ERA program has made more than six million payments to households since January 2021. See NLIHC’s analysis of the May ERA spending data.
According to data collected by the Eviction Lab and reviewed by Frontline, unprecedented resources and protections enacted during the pandemic helped more than a million U.S. households avoid eviction. In a new documentary, Facing Eviction, Frontline examines how Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program and eviction moratoriums helped millions of Americans stay housed. As these temporary protections expire and resources are depleted, however, evictions are again approaching pre-pandemic levels.
NPR and the New York Times reported on a congressional subcommittee report finding that four corporate landlords filed nearly three times as many eviction actions as previously reported – nearly 15,000 – and engaged in abusive tactics to force tenants from their homes during the pandemic. After a year-long investigation, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released the report detailing the abusive and often illegal tactics used by the four corporate landlords to remove tenants from their homes. The findings add data to a growing body of reporting and mounting complaints about investor landlords and their impact on the housing market.
NBC News covered a report from the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis that highlights the ways the Siegel Group, a Las Vegas-based landlord, forced tenants out of their homes through egregious tactics like removing air conditioners, calling a child protection agency without cause, and threatening eviction despite the federal moratorium.
State and Local News
According to the Pasadena Tenants Union, more than 200 Pasadena renters have been displaced or are under threat of displacement by several real estate investment firms that are rapidly buying buildings, evicting the current tenants, and moving in new tenants at higher rates. According to the Pasadena Tenants Union, the corporate landlords are deliberately misleading tenants about their legal protections. While the City of Pasadena’s eviction protections expired on July 1, Pasadena tenants are protected under the LA County COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution, which prohibits no-fault evictions.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on a congressional subcommittee investigation finding that Ventron Management, a corporate landlord with properties in the Atlanta metropolitan area, tried to evict thousands of tenants while the federal eviction moratorium was in place. Ventron pursued evictions against tenants as soon as they fell behind on rent even though the company received $2.57 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans in April 2020. Among 3,845 of Ventron’s eviction actions, 3,499 involved tenants who were behind on just one month’s rent.
The Detroit Free Press reported that eviction filings are expected to rise in Michigan as emergency rental assistance funds dry up. Housing advocates say that the $1.1 billion COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program kept Michigan renters housed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they worry that eviction filings will increase as the program winds down. Beyond temporary solutions like the CERA program, advocates highlight the critical need for more affordable housing in Michigan. The article cites NLIHC’s The Gap and Out of Reach reports.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that the Siegel Group, a Nevada-based real estate and management firm with properties in Reno, engaged in abusive practices to evict tenants during the pandemic while the federal eviction moratorium was in effect. According to the congressional report that was released after a year-long investigation, Siegel engaged in “uniquely egregious” pandemic eviction practices.
Since New York’s eviction moratorium expired in January, landlords in New York City have filed more than 43,000 evictions, surpassing last year’s total of 42,000 evictions. Of all the boroughs, the Bronx has been hit the hardest. Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) recently introduced the “Stable Families Act,” which would establish a permanent emergency assistance fund to protect low-income renters from eviction.
The Texas Tribune spotlights the report released by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus, which found that four corporate landlords, including Dallas-based Invitation Homes, made record profits while skirting the federal eviction moratorium. According to the report, Invitation Homes, a Dallas firm that owns about 80,000 rental homes across the country, sought to evict thousands of tenants while the federal eviction moratorium was in place. The four corporate landlords investigated by the House Subcommittee filed more than 14,000 evictions across the country while the moratorium was in place, with nearly 2,000 of those evictions filed in Texas.
Department of Housing and Urban Development