Who Is Buying My Neighborhood? | Sojourners

Who Is Buying My Neighborhood?

Anonymous corporations own more and more of our cities.
An illustration of an anonymous man in a trench coat holding a bunch of houses in his arms.
Illustration by Michael George Haddad

INVISIBLE FORCES ARE disrupting housing markets in most metropolitan areas, fueling the most acute housing crisis in a generation. As pandemic protections are lifted, many communities are anticipating waves of evictions and foreclosures. By one estimate, the U.S. has a shortage of more than 5.5 million units of housing.

Among these invisible forces is an explosion in short-term rentals, a shift to corporate ownership of rental housing, and a plague of global billionaires looking to park money in U.S. real estate markets. Put this on top of inequality-fueled gentrification and many cities have a full-blown affordability and supply crisis.

In some communities, thousands of apartments and homes are being snatched up by anonymous corporations. Now a growing number of community leaders are pressing to know: Who is buying our cities?

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