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Who owns affordable housing? The rise of real estate monopolies and what to do about it

Event Type
Department of Geography & GIS
Lecture Hall 2079 Natural History Buildubg
Sep 17, 2021   3:00 - 4:00 pm  
Renee Tapp, Urban Studies Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy, UIC
This event is free and open to public
Department of Geography & GIS
Originating Calendar
Geography and Geographic Information Science

Institutional investors are the new titans of the rental housing market. As the number of renters in the United States peaked over the last decade, asset managers, private equity firms, and real estate investment trusts started to expand aggressively into the market. With tactics once confined to the corporate world—mergers and acquisitions, hostile takeovers, and sly spin-off companies—real estate investors have steadily bulldozed through shareholders with their deep pockets, concentrating their market share and distorting prices ever-upwards. Low-income communities, with cheap stock and unwavering demand, have borne the brunt of these unregulated business strategies. In this talk, I discuss the growing challenge to delivering affordable housing when existing antitrust law considers these transactions as “purely financial deals” that do not negatively impact consumers (i.e. tenants). Combining real estate transaction data along with census data and SEC filings, I develop a new antitrust framework and methodology for identifying monopolies in housing markets and offer three directions policymakers and regulators can take to better ensure affordable housing.

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