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Press Release | January 26, 2023

STATEMENT: Landlords Celebrate Biden’s Weak ‘Renter Protection’ Plan

Executive BranchHousing
STATEMENT: Landlords Celebrate Biden’s Weak ‘Renter Protection’ Plan


Contact: Andrea Beaty, [email protected]

In response to the real estate and corporate landlord lobby’s statements calling the White House’s new measures to protect tenants from all-too-common rent hikes and evictions “onerous” and “punitive,” Revolving Door Project Research Director Andrea Beaty released the following statement:

“The Biden administration has apparently decided to assume that corporate landlords are good-faith actors with their tenants’ best interests at heart, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, and just plain common sense. I struggle to come up with an explanation for this other than landlords have lots of money and lobbyists, and tenants — who outnumber the landlords — do not.

“The White House’s new plan affirmed that the executive branch can and should work to give power back to tenants. Unfortunately, their measures missed the opportunity to address the immediate material needs of tenants. The best the Biden administration offered is industry-approved, non-binding measures that kick the can down the road. We apparently owe that to corporate lobbies such as the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA).”

“Yesterday, the NAA, a big-spending landlord lobbying group, boasted that their efforts ‘helped avert an executive order advanced by renters advocates and members of Congress, which would have imposed immediate policy changes.’ The NMHC — which does the bidding of the nation’s leading corporate landlords — celebrated the omission of national rent control from the White House plan while also objecting to other ‘onerous regulations’ contained in the release, which it claimed would ‘discourage much-needed investments in housing supply.’ The National Association of Realtors — the biggest lobbying spender of 2022 — argued that further rental housing regulations would ‘drive providers out of the market [and] make rental housing more expensive.’ These press statements followed reporting from Politico last month that industry groups had lobbied the White House to ‘resist pressure’ from tenants and Congressional Democrats to ‘enact new restrictions on rent hikes and punish landlords [engaged in] price-gouging[.]’” 

Revolving Door Project Researcher Vishal Shankar issued the following statement:

“The White House’s watered-down ‘renter protection’ plan is the latest illustration of why you can’t trust the predatory real estate industry to fix a problem of their own making.”

“The administration’s release refrains from taking any immediate action to rein in private equity’s real estate buying spree, penalize their unlawful behavior, or require private equity-owned, government-supported rental properties to adopt stronger tenant protections. Instead, the administration praises several landlord lobbying groups — including the NAA, NAR, and NMHC — for vague, non-binding commitments to ‘improve the quality of life for renters.’ These are the same groups that spent millions lobbying to kill the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium and tenant protections across the country, and whose members have shamelessly boasted about raking in record profits by rent-gouging and evicting working-class people.”

“Within hours of the White House’s release, these corporate landlords proved once again why they are not good-faith actors. Their spurious claims that federal rent regulation and stronger tenant protections would make the crisis worse are particularly rich coming from corporations whose anticompetitive rent-setting practices and excessive market power are already driving up rents to historic highs. If these groups really cared about housing supply, they wouldn’t have lobbied to kill the Build Back Better Act and its sorely-needed investments in public housing supply.

“By backing away from binding policies that would crack down on corporate landlord cartels — which tenants have been urging for months — the Biden administration has made clear whose side it’s really on.” 


“Secretary Carson Speaks at National Apartment Association’s Board of Directors Meeting” By U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development is licensed under the public domain.

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