Giant Companies Gobble Up Single Family Homes In Tampa and Around the Country12/16/13 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Monday) | Listen to this entire show:
Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. As the country emerges from the long recession—Middle Class Americans are seeing their incomes shrink- but some financial firms are flush with money- and they are buying up private homes. We’ll look at this trend in a moment and ask the question- are we turning into a nation of renters?
But first, four interesting comments about the portion of last Friday’s show on which we heard from two community activists in Tampa who were planning to hold a vigil to commemorate the first anniversary of the Newtown school shooting massacre.
Here’s what four listeners had to say.
Earlier this year the Tampa Bay Times reported that a wealthy Wall Street firm- the Blackstone Group, spent $150 million to buy 1,000 Tampa Bay homes — in just the last six months. The New York-based private equity giant has already bet $3.5 billion across the country that the housing crisis has fundamentally changed the way many families live. Blackstone will become a landlord to families who once owned their own homes. Our guest writes-
"Wall Street’s foreclosure crisis, which began in late 2007 and forced more than 10 million people from their homes, has created a paradoxical problem. Millions of evicted Americans need a safe place to live, even as millions of vacant, bank-owned houses are blighting neighborhoods and spurring a rise in crime. Lucky for us, Wall Street has devised a solution: It’s going to rent these foreclosed houses back to us.
"Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed an unprecedented rental empire, snapping up ….more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown.”
LAURA GOTTESDIENER, @Gottesdiener is the author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home, Gottesdiener just wrote the piece “The Empire Strikes Back, How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme -- Again,”