Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Cars display signs requesting to stop evictions as protesters supporting the rent freeze gather in Chinatown on August 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. During the pandemic, California has passed a number of eviction protections that are under evaluation as they have started expiring. (Photo: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

Despite CDC Moratorium—and With Help From White House—Corporate Landlords Have Gone on Eviction Spree

"The spike in homelessness that results from the absence of continuing tenant protections in the Covid era spells disaster for too many Americans."

Julia Conley

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus last month—absent any similar action from the Republican-led Senate—wealthy corporate landlords have blatantly ignored the order, issuing eviction notices to thousands of tenants across five states, according to a watchdog report. 

The Private Equity Stakeholder Project, which tracks the impact private equity firms have on communities, revealed on Monday that in 23 counties across Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas, corporate management companies run by deep-pocketed financial firms evicted or tried to evict nearly 10,000 tenants between early September and October 17. The total number of eviction proceedings by corporate landlords across the U.S. since the CDC attempted to stop them is likely much larger. 

As NBC News reported, corporate landlords flouted the CDC's guidance, which ordered them to halt evictions for any tenant who was affected by the coronavirus pandemic and couldn't pay rent, as soon as it was issued on September 4. 

The Trump administration, though, made it even easier for wealthy companies to continue evicting tenants this month when it issued new guidance saying landlords can challenge tenants' claims that they are eligible for the moratorium. 

The National Apartment Association proudly claimed this month that it had direct conversations with the White House and the Department of Justice to ensure the eviction ban would be less stringent for corporate landlords to follow—and more punitive to struggling renters. 

After the new guidance was issued, nearly 2,000 new eviction proceedings were reported across the five states in one week—nearly double the amount issued the previous week. 

"The decisions of large companies to advance evictions despite the moratorium quite literally threatens the health of residents and the broader public," Jim Baker, executive director of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, told NBC.

The organization noted some of the wealthy corporate landlords which have filed the most evictions since the moratorium was called in early September, including Invitation Homes, MAA Communities, and Greystar Apartments. 

Invitation Homes moved to eject more than 130 tenants since September 2 despite its skyrocketing stock price and earnings, which rose by 54% in the first six months of 2020. 

Ventron Management, a Canadian real estate firm, has initiated 281 proceedings during the moratorium—the worst offender documented by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project. 

David Wertheimer, a housing rights activist in Seattle, called the project's report "terrifying."

"The spike in homelessness that results from the absence of continuing tenant protections in the Covid era spells disaster for too many Americans," Wertheimer tweeted.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Acidification of Arctic Happening Up to 4 Times Faster Than Other Oceans

The research followed reports that the Arctic is warming nearly four times faster than the Earth as a whole.

Julia Conley ·


Despite Nearly 80% of Voters in Favor, House Dems Stall on Stock Trading Ban

"Existing ethics laws do not go far enough to prevent members of Congress from using the information they have access to for personal gain. No more excuses. No more delays. It's time for action."

Jessica Corbett ·


Analysis Exposes Taxpayer Billions 'Wasted' on Dead-End Carbon Capture Schemes

Food & Water Watch said "this track record should elicit serious concern" as Congress dumps billions more into failed carbon capture technology.

Jake Johnson ·


House Dems Urge Biden to Push for Removal of Climate-Denying World Bank President

"We need a World Bank Group leader who fully appreciates the threat of climate change and the need to accelerate the global transition to a clean just energy future to improve living standards, reduce poverty, and encourage sustainable growth."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Let's Pass Medicare for All,' Says Jayapal as Survey Spotlights Failures of For-Profit System

"When the 'all-time low' of uninsured Americans is still 26 MILLION, something needs to change," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo