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Tenant advocates take aim at corporate landlords

The national #CancelRent movement today unveiled a #MakeThemPay report and national day of action planned for May 22 targeting corporate landlords.

The group is demanding Congress make corporate landlords pay for the cancellation of rent, mortgages, and utilities for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with financial relief to smaller property owners who may soon face foreclosure.

Backed by the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), the advocacy groups say the nation’s wealthiest corporations that dominate the real-estate industry are sitting on an estimated $470 billion and cite well-known entities such as Kushner Companies, Blackstone, Related, Equity Residential, Starwood Capital and Mosser Capital.

The Blackstone Group, which owns the massive Stuy Town apartment complex on Manhattan’s east side, Brookfield Asset Management and Starwood Capital Group are sitting on billions of dollars in cash and capital commitments they have raised from pensions, sovereign wealth funds and other big institutions as the real estate investment sector eyes hotels, retail properties, mortgage backed securities, and defaulting borrowers for a post COVID-19 buying spree.

On a 2020 Q1 Earnings call, Starwood Capital CEO Barry Stenlicht said, “When it’s really ugly, it’s a good time to invest.”

Blackstone raised the largest commercial real estate fund ever in September with $20.5 billion, and as of December 2019 Brookfield held $15 billion. The Kushner family also recently announced they are putting together a fund through Cadre, their real estate investment vehicle, to take advantage of “opportunities” during the pandemic.

In their report, ACRE said, “While Jared Kushner himself formally divested from the fund in February of 2020, it’s clear that a prominent corporate landlord with very close ties to the White House is gearing up to profit from the crisis and its effect on the real estate market.”

The national #CancelRent movement today unveiled a #MakeThemPay report and national day of action planned for May 22 targeting corporate landlords.

The group is demanding Congress make corporate landlords pay for the cancellation of rent, mortgages, and utilities for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with financial relief to smaller property owners who may soon face foreclosure.

Backed by the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), the advocacy groups say the nation’s wealthiest corporations that dominate the real-estate industry are sitting on an estimated $470 billion and cite well-known entities such as Kushner Companies, Blackstone, Related, Equity Residential, Essex, Starwood Capital, CBRE, Irvine Company, and Mosser Capital.

The Blackstone Group, Inc., Brookfield Asset Management and Starwood Capital Group are sitting on billions of dollars in cash and capital commitments they have raised from pensions, sovereign wealth funds and other big institutions as the real estate investment sector eyes hotels, retail properties, mortgage backed securities, and defaulting borrowers for a post COVID-19 buying spree.

On a 2020 Q1 Earnings call, Starwood Capital CEO Barry Stenlicht said, “When it’s really ugly, it’s a good time to invest.”

Blackstone raised the largest commercial real estate fund ever in September with $20.5 billion, and as of December 2019 Brookfield held $15 billion. The Kushner family also recently announced they are putting together a fund through Cadre, their real estate investment vehicle, to take advantage of “opportunities” during the pandemic.

In their report, ACRE said, “While Jared Kushner himself formally divested from the fund in February of 2020, it’s clear that a prominent corporate landlord with very close ties to the White House is gearing up to profit from the crisis and its effect on the real estate market.

“The U.S. real estate industry is led by some of the richest, most powerful people in the world. They have profited handsomely from the last foreclosure crisis, the commodification of housing, and decades of racist housing policy, while actively lobbying to avoid paying their fair share in taxes for decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified what we already knew: Corporate landlords’ bill is long past due.”

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