People’s Action Members from Across the Country Called Out NMHC’s Profiteering for Corporate Landlords
WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Homes Guarantee campaign today hosted an 1000-person rally at the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) headquarters to expose the group’s lobbying against federal tenant protections and rent regulations. NMHC represents some of the most notorious corporate landlords that rake in profits by hiking rents, including Greystar, Starwood Capital Group, and Blackstone. Three of Harlan Crow’s companies as well as Jared Kushner’s family’s real estate company are also members of NMHC. NMHC opposed the pandemic moratorium and its extension in 2021.
“My landlord owns over 1,500 apartments in Springfield–basically all the apartments that exist in the city. My landlord bought those apartments with financing supported by the federal government. They got a good deal, and I got a nightmare,” Neighbor to Neighbor tenant leader Bennita Watford said. “I can’t afford to stay but I can’t afford to leave. Springfield Gardens is stressing me so bad, it gave me a heart attack.”
At the action, tenant leaders shared stories of poor living conditions and rent hikes by corporate landlords who are dues-paying members of NMHC. At the same time as the rally, tenant leaders tried to meet with NMHC to discuss tenant protections in multifamily complexes purchased with federally backed mortgages. Many of NMHC’s corporate members receive federally-backed mortgage loans through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The action occurred as the Homes Guarantee campaign is organizing to add tenant protections as a condition of government-backed mortgages.
“I am devastated and pissed. My kids deserve to know that we’ll be sitting at this dinner table next year and the year after, but we can’t afford to stay. My daughter asked: Mommy, where are we going to go? I don’t have an answer,” Kentucky Tenants tenant leader Stephanie Hensley said. “The landlord lobby represents the very people and organizations who want to make sure that me and my kids spend the rest of our lives moving in and out of apartments, hotels, and shelters. I refuse to let that happen.”
“The rent is too damn high, and the government is in business with our landlords. The National Multifamily Housing Council is the leading lobby group opposing tenant protections, on behalf of their members, some of the biggest landlords in the market,” People’s Action Homes Guarantee Campaign Director Tara Raghuveer, said. “We are here to expose the lobbyists who we know will fight every proposed regulation that might impact their profits. We need the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the chief regulator of their industry, to take tenants’ expertise seriously, to weigh it against these profiteering lobbyists, and to enact the tenant protections we need.”
The action was part of People’s Action’s convention and one of four direct actions focused on issues impacting poor and working people, including housing, health care, climate, and the overdose crisis.
Photos and videos from the action may be found here.
People’s Action builds the power of poor and working people in urban, rural, and suburban areas to win change through issue fights and elections. We are a national network of 40 state and local grassroots power-building organizations in 29 states–united in the work of building a bigger “we.”
Contact: Johanna Kichton, email@example.com, 202.660.0605