REPORT: Realtor Groups Suing Biden Over Eviction Ban Have Bragged About States’ Successful Housing Markets
New Analysis Reveals Industry Groups Have Repeatedly Fought To Overturn The CDC’s Eviction Moratoriums While Praising Their States’ Strong And Successful Pandemic Housing Markets
Washington, D.C. — Amid a pending lawsuit from the Georgia and Alabama chapters of the National Association of Realtors against the Biden administration’s new federal eviction moratorium, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report showing the realtor groups have made statements praising their respective states’ strong and successful pandemic housing markets despite their legal rhetoric suggesting doom for the industry. During the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, the groups also capitalized on increased home sales to promote website content showcasing the U.S. housing market’s “hot streak” despite their legal rhetoric.
In addition, the Alabama chapter has a long history of undermining renter protections. As far back as 2000, the group repeatedly fought tenant rights legislation, first spearheading an effort against a bill requiring “minimum standards of livability” in rental properties, before backing a bill with loopholes that made basic living standards protections “meaningless” while opposing a stronger bill.
“These landlords itching to force families from their homes during a pandemic are telling the courts the sky is falling in their industry while at the same time bragging about their booming local housing markets,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “It’s a classic case of an industry putting even higher profits over people. And it’s another reason why Congress cannot wait to a pass adequate housing aid to stave off a new homelessness crisis.”
Accountable.US found that the Alabama Association of Realtors has enjoyed a “resilient” housing market during the pandemic with home sales increasing year-to-year by 18.7% in June 2020. In February 2021, the group’s president shared a claim stating, “Alabama’s strength in the real estate market continues to make national headlines.” And in May 2021, the group posted an article praising the U.S. housing market’s “hot streak with double-digit annual gains in home prices.”
The Georgia Association of Realtors has repeatedly touted the strength of the Georgia housing market, even calling it “red hot” in March 2021. Additionally, the group’s president said, “the historic market of 2020 has rolled over into 2021, and there are no signs of its ebbing anytime soon.”
Last week, Accountable.US released an analysis revealing 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.
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