WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – As our nation continues to face a crisis of housing affordability, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., introduced the End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act, a piece of legislation aimed at ending Wall Street ownership of residential housing.
While aspects of the housing crisis— including a supply shortage—will take years to remedy, others can be addressed immediately, including a ban on hedge funds and private equity firms owning and controlling large parts of the American housing market, and in turn dedicate revenue from this bill for down payment assistance to homebuyers.
“Everyone should have a safe, affordable place to call home,” said Senator Merkley. “In every corner of the country, giant financial corporations are buying up housing and driving up both rents and home prices. They’re pouring fuel on the fire of the affordable housing crisis that so many of our communities are facing, leaving working families behind. The housing in our neighborhoods should be homes for people, not profit centers for Wall Street. It’s time for Congress to put in place commonsense guardrails that ensure all families have a fair chance to buy or rent a home in their community at a price they can afford.”
Following the 2008 housing crisis, large private equity firms and hedge funds bought substantial portfolios of foreclosed homes as an investment opportunity. The federal government enabled this growth through bulk sales of…