Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced the Housing Oversight and Mitigating Exploitation (HOME) Act to “help lower housing costs for Nevadans by cracking down on price gouging by corporate investors who are buying up housing stock and driving up home prices.” Any fines collected by the government agency would be deposited into the National Housing Trust Fund to be used for increasing affordable housing nationwide
The Las Vegas Review Journal recently reported that an estimated 15 percent of the single-family homes in Las Vegas are owned by corporate investors. Rosen contends that corporate ownership of single family homes are “increasing housing costs for hardworking Nevadans.”
This bill would direct the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to investigate price manipulation and price gouging by corporate investors and make it illegal for anyone to rent or sell a unit at an unreasonable price during an “affordable housing crisis.” The legislation does not define what an “unreasonable price” is, however housing prices throughout Nevada skyrocketed during the pandemic but have since decreased due to inflationary interest rates and excessive inventory.
“Sky-high costs of housing and rent are hurting hardworking Nevadans and putting a strain on their budgets,” said Senator Rosen. “That’s why I’m introducing a bill to crack down on price gouging by corporate investors and lower housing costs for Nevada families. I’m committed to doing everything I can to lower costs and give Nevadans more breathing room.”
Last year, Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) introduced this legislation in the House of Representatives and contends that corporations are targeting communities of color and hunting single mothers.
“In 2021, the 4th Congressional District in Nevada saw 17% of the homes purchased being bought by private corporate speculators. Companies with no interest or connection to our communities then manipulate the market and impact hard-working, prospective homeowners or renters who are trying to afford a home for themselves and their families,” added Congressman Horsford.
“This is a national trend that the data shows is targeting communities of color and hurting single mothers in greater numbers. And now, we are learning about companies trading these homes like stocks and bonds, with nearly 40% of single-family homes predicted to be under the control of these corporate speculators by 2030. The HOME Act will empower the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary to investigate these corporations and take action to keep families in their homes, and I am proud to have Senator Rosen introduce the Senate companion to my legislation.”
Horsford reintroduced legislation early in 2023, called the Housing Oversight and Mitigating Exploitation (HOME) Act, noting that “large institutional speculators” are buying up America’s housing market at an alarming rate. https://t.co/CwBxVrewik
— Rep. Steven Horsford (@RepHorsford) January 4, 2024
Specifically, this bill would:
- Make it illegal for any person to rent or sell a dwelling unit at an unreasonable price during an affordable housing crisis.
- Direct the Secretary of HUD to investigate whether home prices are being manipulated by artificially reducing housing capacity or through other price gouging practices.
- Empower the Secretary of HUD to monitor home purchases within housing markets across the country to investigate market manipulation, including through data collection of housing purchases by corporate investors.
- Direct the Secretary of HUD to determine if corporate investors are purchasing an excessive amount of housing in a particular market, and, in the case where a single institutional investor buys more than 5 percent of the single-family housing units in a market over a three-year period or more than 25 percent of the single-family housing unit in a one-year period, requires the investigation of price gouging and unfair investment practices that drive homeowners out of the market.
- Authorize the Federal Trade Commission, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and the Secretary of HUD to collect and analyze data on practices that unfairly prevent applicants and tenants of rental housing from accessing or staying in housing units.
- Limit investments from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to organizations that have either violated renter protections or have been found to have raised rent by egregious rates in the past.
- Direct the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to jointly review anti-competitive behavior in the residential housing market.
The HOME Act has been endorsed by the Nevada Housing Coalition and the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“Senator Jacky Rosen has been a steadfast advocate for affordable housing in Nevada, working tirelessly to address the challenges faced by families across the state. The Nevada Housing Coalition is proud to support her efforts for the HOME Act,” said Maurice Page, Executive Director of Nevada Housing Coalition. “This bill is a direct reflection on her deep commitment to ensuring all Nevadans have access to safe, affordable housing. It not only addresses the immediate needs of our housing crisis but also lays the groundwork for a more equitable and prosperous future for all Nevadans. We urge all stakeholders – policymakers, community leaders, and citizens – to support this transformative Act.”
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