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?