Properties owned by former White House adviser Jared Kushner’s family company have filed at least 590 eviction lawsuits since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and more than 200 in 2021 alone, putting “countless tenants” at risk of losing their homes in parts of the U.S. where Covid-19 transmission levels remain dangerously high.
That’s according to a detailed analysis conducted by the government watchdog group Accountable.US, which examined public eviction filings submitted largely by properties under the control of Westminster Management, a subsidiary of Kushner Companies. In his 2020 financial disclosure, Kushner—former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law—reported $1.65 million in income from Westminster Management, the only item listed in the “Employment Assets & Income” section of the filing.
In a report (pdf) provided exclusively to Common Dreams, Accountable.US compiled the publicly available eviction suits submitted by Westminster properties, including 2021 filings that have not been previously reported. The group emphasized that its list of filings is likely incomplete, given that many lawsuits may not yet be available to view online.
The analysis comes less than a month after the conservative-dominated U.S. Supreme Court struck down a nationwide moratorium that protected millions of people from eviction for non-payment of rent—a decision that housing advocates warned could spark a devastating wave of evictions and worsen the pandemic.
“Jared Kushner is the poster child for ultra-rich landlords clamoring to boost their bottom line by kicking families to the curb, even if it comes at the expense of public health,” Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, told Common Dreams. “By siding with big rental companies, the Supreme Court veered even further to the right and welcomed a homelessness crisis that will fan the flames of the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.”
“With eviction protections gone,” Herrig added, “corporate landlords like Kushner are relishing the soonest opportunity to evict the vulnerable, but it’s still a choice: is it worth making themselves a little bit richer in the short term while making communities where their tenants reside far less healthy? We hope they put people before profits.”
According to Accountable’s report, Westminster properties and other companies in which Kushner holds investments have filed at least 96 eviction-related lawsuits in New Jersey since the pandemic began, and more than 40 this year alone. All of the New Jersey filings “were in counties that appeared to be covered by the extended CDC moratorium as of August 26, 2021,” the group found.
The same was true of Westminster-owned properties in Maryland and Virginia, Accountable.US noted.