Rep. Alma Adams Questions Treasury Sec. Yellen Over Wall Street’s Takeover of NC Rental Homes

Source: Charlotte Observer

While questioning U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently, Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC 12) highlighted her concerns regarding corporations that are buying up single-family homes in the thousands across the state.

Adams made her comments about affordable housing during a House Financial Services Committee meeting held with Yellen in attendance back on May 12.

According to a recent investigative piece compiled by the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer, giant Wall Street investment companies now own and control tens of thousands of single-family rental homes throughout North Carolina through a system that is far more complex than it appears on the surface.

According to the monthslong investigation by the two newspapers, around 20 companies now own at least 40,000 single-family properties across the state, including 25-percent of all rental homes in Mecklenburg County and more than 6,000 single-family homes in Wake County.

Adams has represented the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area since winning a special election in 2014. 

According to the Charlotte Observer, Adams told Yellen that “In my district…private equity firms have been snapping up single-family homes and converting them to rental properties” and “the average value of those properties are only two-thirds of the average single-family home. So that means that private equity firms are squeezing the less affluent out of the home-buying market.”

Yellen addressed Adams’ concerns by saying that the lack of affordable housing across the country is a “crisis.”

“I’m seeing huge shortages in affordable housing, especially in high-priced areas of the country,” Yellen said during the meeting, the Observer reported. “And I think we need to do everything we can to address the shortage.”

Adams’ spokesperson, Sam Spencer, told reporters that the congresswoman was looking into steps that could be taken to address the rise of corporate landlords and that they could be included in a future bill.

Click here to read more of the Charlotte Observer’s coverage.

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