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Alternative Market Briefing

UN calls out Blackstone's Innovation Homes for its role in exacerbating housing crisis

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The United Nations is calling out Blackstone for its role in exacerbating the housing affordability crisis worldwide. In letters sent to governments all over the world and to Blackstone itself, Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and Surya Deva, Chairperson of the Working Group on business and human rights, say that private equity is inflating rents and displacing people.

Blackstone runs the largest single-family rental business in the US through its Invitation Homes unit. The company refurbishes those homes and rents them out, a practice that was encouraged by the US government in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis. But in the letters, Farha and Deva suggest that Innovation Homes is actually part of the problem. They cite the high cost of requesting repairs if something happens in one of these rental homes as well as frequent and significant rent increases which make it difficult for tenants to keep up. According to a CBS news report, Innovation Homes is alleged to be quick to evict people for non-payment and imposes a hefty $100 late fee if payments are even one minute late.

"Almost overnight multinational private equity and asset management firms like Bl......................

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