New Accountable.US Analysis Reveals The Real Estate Industry’s Push To End The Eviction Ban While Reporting Strong Performance to Investors 

Washington, D.C. — As the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis holds a hearing today on corporate landlords’ moving to evict renters despite the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) moratorium, government watchdog Accountable.US released an analysis finding that the real estate industry has been pushing to end eviction moratoriums before over $40 billion in already-allocated federal relief can even reach renters. The hearing comes as the eviction moratorium expires this week, leaving up to 40 million renters at risk of losing their homes with these landlords preparing to kick tenants out, especially in communities of color. And only days ago, one U.S. appeals court ruled against the moratorium, effectively stripping protections from renters in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. 

Accountable.US found that the top five Residential REITs, which own and operate rental properties, have reported strong or stable performance in the first quarter of 2021, despite the moratorium and COVID-19 — a period in which economic inequality only worsened. The analysis also revealed that Senator Mike Crapo and Senator Pat Toomey, two senators who resisted extending the CDC’s moratorium back as early as December 2020, have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the real estate groups that opposed the ban protecting millions of Americans from homelessness.  

“Even during a pandemic and severe economic downturn, the real estate industry still managed to post strong profits as families in every corner of the country battled homelessness. To make matters worse, while many landlords continued to thrive, they fought tooth and nail to prematurely end the CDC’s eviction moratorium and kick millions of Americans out of their homes amid a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “As eviction protections end for some of our country’s most vulnerable populations, especially those located in communities of color, Congress needs to pass adequate housing aid now.”  

Read the full analysis from Accountable.US HERE.  

KEY POINTS:  

The top five Residential REITs, which own and operate rental properties, had positive outlooks despite the moratoriums: 

  • Equity Residential, which represents 20% of the apartment REIT market, reported “considerable positive momentum” and collected 97% of its expected revenue in the quarter.
     
  • Essex Property, which represents 14% of the same market, said it had “a good first quarter,” “improvements in same-property revenue growth,” and raised its dividend. 
     
  • Mid-America Apartment communities, which represents 13% of the market, reported a “solid start to the year,” collected 99.1% of its billed rent, and said its balance sheet was in “great shape.” 
     
  • UDR, Inc., which has 10% of the market, told investors that its Q1 results were “solid,” that it would be able to “drive growth” under an extended moratorium in New York and raised its dividend. 
     
  • AvalonBay Communities, which represents 20% of the market, said “it’s too early to tell” about bad debt from the moratoriums, but still projected “outsized growth as the economy recharges.”   

​Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) And Mike Crapo (R-ID), who have been outspoken against the eviction moratorium, are the same ones getting bankrolled by the major industry groups opposing the policy – Toomey received nearly $185,000 from signers of an anti-eviction moratorium letter and Crapo received over $280,000 from the same groups. 

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