Episode 69 - Rent Seekers

Half of America's poor pay at least 50% of their income on rent, while a quarter of them pay over 70%, and this trend is worsening as the number of affordable housing units continues to outpace Americans' abilities to pay for them. How did we get in a scenario where so many Americans are surrendering so much just to have a place to live? What incentives drive people to prey upon the needs we have for basic necessities? What does eviction actually mean? All these questions will be answered and we'll get to listen into a special interview with a guest joining us from Santa Cruz to discuss tenant organizing, legislative solutions, and how all of us could be making a difference in our lives and those of our neighbors in this intro episode to housing rights.

full transcript available

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  • 5:51 "Multifamily Evictions, Large Owners, and Serial Filings: Findings from Metropolitan Atlanta"
  • 13:22 Maximizing that Mailbox Money
  • 24:57 "Do the Poor Pay More for Housing? Exploitation, Profit, and Risk in Rental Markets"
  • 32:23 Nothing is Profitable
  • 41:59 Neoclassical economics and oversimplification
  • 51:43 INTERVIEW: Claire from Santa Cruz, CA

Addl Info


@misc{AFP_2019, title={Germans up in arms over “rent insanity”}, url={https://www.thelocal.de/20190406/germans-up-in-arms-over-rent-insanity}, author={AFP}, year={2019}, month={Apr} } @misc{Barker_Silver-Greenberg_2018, title={On Tenant Blacklist, Errors and Renters With Little Recourse}, url={https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/17/nyregion/new-york-housing-tenant-blacklist.html}, journal={The New York Times}, author={Barker, Kim and Silver-Greenberg, Jessica}, year={2018}, month={Jan} } @misc{Biggerpockets_2015, title={Do you ever accept a tenant with a prior eviction?}, url={https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/52/topics/161623-do-you-ever-accept-a-tenant-with-a-prior-eviction}, author={Biggerpockets}, year={2015} } @misc{Biggerpockets_2017, title={Would you ever rent to someone with a prior eviction?}, url={https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/52/topics/458018-would-you-ever-rent-to-someone-with-a-prior-eviction}, author={Biggerpockets}, year={2017} } @article{Desmond_Wilmers_2019, title={Do the Poor Pay More for Housing? Exploitation, Profit, and Risk in Rental Markets}, volume={124}, ISSN={0002-9602}, DOI={10.1086/701697}, number={4}, journal={American Journal of Sociology}, author={Desmond, Matthew and Wilmers, Nathan}, year={2019}, month={Jan}, pages={1090–1124} } @misc{Dillon_2018, title={California’s rent control initiative was crushed in the election. Don’t expect the issue to go away}, url={https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-proposition-10-rent-control-next-20181108-story.html}, journal={latimes.com}, author={Dillon, Liam}, year={2018}, month={Nov} } @misc{Dougherty_2018, title={Rent Control Campaign in California Is Taken to the Streets}, url={https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/12/business/economy/california-housing.html}, journal={The New York Times}, author={Dougherty, Conor}, year={2018}, month={Apr} } @misc{Florida_2019, title={How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords}, url={https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/03/housing-rent-landlords-poverty-desmond-inequality-research/585265/}, abstractNote={American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find.}, journal={CityLab}, author={Florida, Richard}, year={2019}, month={Mar} } @article{Immergluck_Ernsthausen_Earl_Powell_2019, title={Multifamily Evictions, Large Owners, and Serial Filings: Findings from Metropolitan Atlanta}, url={https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331877056_Multifamily_Evictions_Large_Owners_and_Serial_Filings_Findings_from_Metropolitan_Atlanta}, DOI={10.13140/RG.2.2.24976.05120}, abstractNote={Evictions and eviction filings cause substantial harm to lower-income families and neighborhoods. We examine multifamily eviction filings in the five-county metropolitan Atlanta area with a rich data set of eviction filings, property characteristics, and ownership information. We find that eviction filings include many “serial filings,” in which landlords file repeatedly on the same tenant. The literature suggests that serial filings are aimed less at removing the tenant and more at disciplining the tenant through state-sanctioned threat of removal. We analyze serial and nonserial filing rates at the property level, and the share of a property’s filings that are serial filings (serial share). Regressions on building, location, and neighborhood characteristics reveal important factors associated with higher serial and nonserial filing rates and serial share. We then examine the owners of the largest number of multifamily properties in the region and identify those that exhibit high or low serial filing rates after controlling for building, neighborhood and location characteristics. We find that the largest owners and larger buildings tend to have high serial shares. We also find that, while properties in Black neighborhoods have higher nonserial filing rates, their serial shares are also higher than otherwise similar properties. A key result is that sales in the prior three years have a significant, nontrivial positive effect on the nonserial filing rate, suggesting that building sales are significant predictors of rising evictions. Finally, those few large owners that do have low serial filing shares tend to be located in neighborhoods that are significantly less Black than the average building. We discuss implications for policy and further research.}, author={Immergluck, Dan and Ernsthausen, Jeff and Earl, Stephanie and Powell, Allison}, year={2019}, month={Mar} } @misc{jfpark_2018, title={Abolish rent: for a communist tenants’ movement}, url={http://libcom.org/library/abolish-rent-communist-tenants-movement}, journal={libcom.org}, author={jfpark}, year={2018}, month={Jul} } @misc{Laura Gottesdiener_2014, title={How Wall Street Screwed Over Tenants in New York City}, url={https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/predatory-equity-wall-street-screwed-over-renters-new-york-city/}, journal={Mother Jones}, author={Laura Gottesdiener}, year={2014}, month={Apr} } @misc{McAdams Law_2019, title={Don’t Get Blacklisted | McAdams Law | New York, New York}, url={https://www.mcadamslaw.net/Landlord-Tenant-Law/Don-t-Get-Blacklisted.shtml}, journal={McAdams Law}, author={McAdams Law}, year={2019} } @misc{Podkul_Schwencke_Fung_2017, title={Map of Preferential Rents in NYC}, url={https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/preferential-rents}, journal={ProPublica}, author={Podkul, Cezary and Schwencke, Ken and Fung, Hilary}, year={2017}, month={Jun} } @misc{Riquier_2019, title={The eviction crisis is starting to look a lot like the subprime mortgage crisis}, url={https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-eviction-crisis-is-starting-to-look-a-lot-like-the-subprime-crisis-2019-03-26}, abstractNote={Stable housing is increasingly out of reach for many Americans, as both rentals and homes to own grow more expensive and options dwindle. Evictions may be...}, journal={MarketWatch}, author={Riquier, Andrea}, year={2019}, month={Mar} } @misc{Santa Cruz Indymedia_2018, title={No on M Slumlord Darius Mohsenin Distributes Racist Flyers at No Place Like Home Event}, url={https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/10/19/18818326.php}, journal={Indybay}, author={Santa Cruz Indymedia}, year={2018}, month={Oct} } @misc{Steven Wishnia_2017, title={How Forcing Tenants to Move Became a Business Model for NYC Landlords}, url={https://www.villagevoice.com/2017/09/18/how-forcing-tenants-to-move-became-a-business-model-for-nyc-landlords/}, author={Steven Wishnia}, year={2017}, month={Sep} } @misc{Tobias_2018a, title={A New Housing-Rights Movement Has the Real-Estate Industry Running Scared}, url={https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-housing-rights-movement-has-the-real-estate-industry-running-scared/}, abstractNote={In cities across the country, tenants are demanding robust regulations to keep rents affordable and stop unjust evictions.}, author={Tobias, Jimmy}, year={2018}, month={Feb} } @misc{Tobias_2018b, title={Election Day Brought Thrilling Victory—and Devastating Defeat—to the Housing Movement}, url={https://www.thenation.com/article/affordable-housing-california-election-costa-hawkins/}, author={Tobias, Jimmy}, year={2018}, month={Nov} }

Published 11-04-2019 02:53