Housing advocates and tenants call for end to toxic relationships with corporate landlords

The latest numbers show a total of six companies own more than 13,000 single-family homes in Mecklenburg County.

Housing advocates and tenants are calling on local, state and national leaders to crack down on corporate landlords. 

Across the United States, rallies took place on Valentine’s Day with the goal of bringing attention to the affordable housing crisis

In Mecklenburg County, corporate landlords are snatching up homes and turning them into rental properties. It triggers a loss of homeownership for many people, while also burdening tenants with rising rents. These properties are also known for having poor living conditions.

The latest numbers show a total of six companies own more than 13,000 single-family homes in Mecklenburg County.

Now, community activists and renters are declaring an end to toxic relationships with corporate landlords.

“A lot of the corporate landlords, their relationship to the people and our city is our bank account when the funds go in,” Mecklenburg County Commissioner At-Large Pat Cotham said. “Do they know where they have apartments or houses? Most of them I don’t think do, they’re not connected. I see people being taken advantage of.”

Sandra Del Los Santos is one of those people. 

Del Los Santos moved into her home seven years ago. Since then, she’s complained about water damage and mold, but her corporate landlord brushed her off and she can’t afford to move elsewhere. 

“It’s nationwide that people are going through this,” Action NC Community Organizer Jessica Moreno said. 

Action NC is a grassroots organization that is working to improve people’s living conditions and fight against corporate landlords.

Those landlords burden tenants with rising rents while gobbling up houses and not giving first-time homebuyers a chance. 

“Corporate landlords are paying cash money for their homes, and they can bid over the price of their homes, whereas someone that’s approved for a mortgage has a certain amount of money they can buy a home with,” Moreno said. 

The group is calling on local, state and national leaders to invest in green social housing, which is public and permanent affordable housing, to level the housing market.  

“Green social housing would be a solution we could explore and invest in because this would be housing that’s community-controlled and owned,” Moreno said. 

They’re also demanding more funding to go towards the Housing Trust Fund, which generates and preserves more affordable places to live in Charlotte. It’s something Mecklenburg County has also invested in. 

“There’s not one solution, this is too complex, all these complex problems we have to hit from many different directions,” Cotham said. 

If you want to support green social housing, you can sign this petition

Read the original at WCNC.

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